Author Topic: Stolen Car - Moving forward  (Read 2654 times)

405programmer

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Stolen Car - Moving forward
« on: September 20, 2015, 05:52:28 PM »
Hey Everyone! I'm a long-time lurker and first time poster. I have enjoyed the great advice on the blog and on these forums for about the past year. I finally have something of my own that I think I might need some advice on.

 So earlier this weekend my car was stolen from in from of my house. This part definitely sucks, however I have a solid chance to make some lemonade out of these lemons. The short and sweet is that the car was an 08 Honda Civic and I did still have comprehensive insurance (I kept it for the fear of tornadoes but it also covers theft). I had driven the car for the last few years and just last year my parents were awesome and surprised me with the title of the car (college graduation). So I owned the car outright. The car was parked and locked Friday night and was missing by Saturday morning. I contacted the police and also called the insurance company so I think I've already covered my bases on this part. My parents were obviously sad to see their gift get stolen but were happy I kept comprehensive insurance on it.

Moving forward I have a few options. Thankfully my roommate is out of town for training and he was kind enough to let me borrow his car so I don't have to make any rash decisions right away. I definitely would like to replace the car so I can enjoy the luxuries of arriving to work dry on rainy days among other lazy habits I have thanks to having a car since I was 16...

I am assuming the car won't be recovered and the insurance will pay me the actual cash value of the car less the $1000 dollar deductible. A ballpark on that number is somewhere between 5 - 7 thousand. I expect that the insurance will wait 2 - 3 weeks to see if the police are able to recover the car. Some other details about my position is that I have about $2800 cash in my checking account. I also have $3200 cash in a taxable vanguard account that I should be able to get to within a few days but would honestly rather leave that alone. I might face some early withdrawal fees because about $2000 of that investment account has been this summer's extra contributions.

  • Be a badass and wait for a good value car 3-5K
  • Buy a beater now for under $2800
  • Get a small loan for a value car now
  • Cash in some investment for a value car now


Option 1 would mean leveraging my bicycle heavily for commutes and my network of friends for trips to the store. It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world but the emotional feeling of not having a car at all is pretty foreign to me. Option 3 and 4 are almost the same they are just different places to get the funds. The only real reason I'm considering a small loan is to build additional credit (I'm only 23). To be completely honest after typing all of this out I really think the best option is to wait and find a good value car I will be happy with. Maybe I just need some validation from other people who are great with money. (My Dad's suggestion was a new truck. I'm not doing that one haha)

What do you guys think? Any advice beyond MMM's car buying article?

Gin1984

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Re: Stolen Car - Moving forward
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2015, 05:54:40 PM »
Do you have access to a bus system or car share nearby?

Rosy

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Re: Stolen Car - Moving forward
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2015, 06:13:22 PM »
Around here you will need at least 12K for a new/used car that you can then hang onto for a long time. Trucks are expensive and unless you need them in your business or sidehustle, forget it.

Considering you might score 7K from the insurance and perhaps use your cash in the bank to top it off, you do need only a very small loan. If you can get 3K at a reasonable rate go for it and make sure you can pay it off without penalty.

I do agree, you should not touch your Vanguard account and indeed make it a rule as much as possible to never ever touch your investments and certainly not for a car loan.

Alternately - if you can get a credit card at 0% intro APR with a decent limit, even better, if you open one that offers a sign up bonus, just remember to pay the minimum:). In essence, you can figure out what you would need to pay each month to have it all paid off at 0% interest by the time the card reverts to it's regular interest rate.

Don't get too excited though, because they may still find your car.

405programmer

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Re: Stolen Car - Moving forward
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2015, 06:24:16 PM »
I haven't looked too much into our bus system in the area but the couple of times I rode it I wasn't a fan. The car share might be a great idea short term but long term I would definitely like to own a car. I will look into pricing options for the car sharing!

I didn't know that you could finance cars with credit cards? Definitely something to look into! To be honest I do hope they find my car but I am rather doubtful. I would also suspect that if they find my car it will very likely not be in the pristine condition it was in under my care. Hopefully I can find a good car for a little less than 12K. After all my $1200 college car ran amazing until some jerk totaled it.

Can't Wait

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Re: Stolen Car - Moving forward
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2015, 06:48:42 PM »
Sorry to hear about your car.

I had a my car stolen when I was in college and my insurance actually paid for a rental car in cases of theft. Maybe you can check to see if yours does the same so at least you'll have transportation until your car shows up.

I honestly didn't think 8th generation civics were stolen all that often. Did you have the SI model or something? Aftermarket radio/nav? Hopefully it turns up though. I would hate to see you pull money out of your vanguard account. If the car is totaled out, I'd take the money and buy a used 2nd or 3rd gen prius. If you got a 2nd gen prius, you could pocket the difference. 2nd Gen Prius' can be found for cheap these days.

Syonyk

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Re: Stolen Car - Moving forward
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2015, 10:52:28 PM »
How far is your commute?

A bike, an electric bike conversion kit, a good set of waterproof bags, and some nice rain gear goes a LONG ways in making year round bike commuting reasonable.  Even in the rain, with rain gear, the electric assist kicks in enough power that you're not going to get sweaty on your way to work.  On the way home, who cares?  Get wet, have a blast. :)

GoldenStache

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Re: Stolen Car - Moving forward
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2015, 07:39:51 AM »
Your insurance company can not force you to wait to see if it turns up.  Get the dollar amount now and you figure out if it is worth it to take the money and run or wait a week or two.  I had a friend get his car back after it was stolen and it never ran the same.  He highly regrets not taking the money that they offered him.  YMMV 

405programmer

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Re: Stolen Car - Moving forward
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2015, 07:57:36 AM »
Thanks again for the advice everyone!

GovtWorker, my civic was pretty boring and standard as far as 4 door civics go. No fancy performance packages or custom wheels. I actually just cancelled the rental service portion of my insurance last month when I removed collision coverage. Thankfully I didn't cancel comprehensive! Maybe I could weigh in my anecdotal story on the car insurance thread just for kicks. I am definitely hoping to find a relatively cheap car so I get to pocket a little bit of money out of this whole ordeal.

Syonyk, I actually do have a pretty decent road bike that I usually just ride on the weekends. My commute currently is a very manageable 3 miles. But long term I am looking to find a little bit better neighborhood for obvious reasons. Preferably somewhere the houses don't have bars on the windows... There are neighborhoods that are still relatively close to downtown OKC for pretty cheap money but those are the hardest areas to find homes for sale / rent (time on market is short). I will use this week as a trial period for biking to work while I still have a borrowed car for backup and go from there. I still want a car long term due to urban sprawl of my lovely city.

GoldenStache, I'll put some more pressure on the insurance to give me more details. Because the claim was over the weekend I have yet to be assigned a final claims adjuster. The one who worked with me so far is only for temporary and emergency claims like those that require medical attention. I figured I would give them until lunch before I start raising hell with their hotlines.

It looks like really the best option for me is to develop my bike commuting skills while waiting for the insurance situation to work out. Then I can shop for a good value car with plenty of cash for more options. I contacted a few people on Craigslist about some ~$2000 dollar cars but things like "has a miss going up hills" and "randomly stalls at idle" are an automatic "no" from me. I'll let you know where I end up but thanks for advice so far!