Saturday, January 17, 2009

One Car Couple

As of Friday morning, Shawn and I are officially a one car couple. Remember that minor accident we were in about two weeks ago? If you scroll down a few posts, you can see the pictures of it. Although it wasn't a very hard hit, and it looked like there really wasn't a whole lot of damage, if you look carefully there were actually about 4 or 5 pieces of the car that would need to be replaced. The headlight, the entire front bumper, the side panel, the hood...and maybe one or two other small things. We were given a copy of the estimate, and I noticed that the parts total wasn't that bad...but it was the labor that pushed the total estimate to just about $4000. Since Shawn's 1995 Montero with over 200,000 miles on it isn't worth $4000, the insurance company let us know that they were totalling the car. To his credit, Shawn fought them on it, but I'm sure you can guess how that went.

So yesterday morning, Shawn went and signed his car over to the insurance company. He then took his rental car back to the auto body shop, and I met him there. We got all of our things out of the Montero, and we said goodbye. It was kinda sad.

Before we made any official decision about the car, we had discussed all of our options. We actually could've kept the Montero, but it would've cost us over $2000 out of pocket to fix it, and we decided it just wasn't worth it. We've decided that for now, the money from the insurance company is going into savings. When we chose this apartment, we actually said (as one of its benefits) that if something ever happened to one of our cars, we'd be okay using just one for awhile. So now we'll see if that's true! We do live close enough to Shawn's job that he can easily walk or ride his bike to work. On days that I have sub jobs, that's what he'll do. He'll obviously need the car for rugby practice, so those nights I'll just have to plan on staying home (which is's what I normally do anyway). Our main worry about having only one car is the fact that the one car we have now is really small. It's a Dodge Neon. Shawn's bike won't fit in it (at least, we doubt it will), so we'll have to figure out how he'll be able to go mountain biking on occasion. And my car can't make it up really steep, rocky terrain, so that might restrict where in the mountains we can go for snowshoeing, hiking, or rock climbing.

But we're going to give the one-car lifestyle a shot. If we decide it's unbearable, we'll figure out then what to do. It's possible that the insurance money is enough to get us another SUV similar to Shawn's...old, with high mileage. But our goal is to set aside "car payments" every month so that hopefully, we can eventually pay cash for a second car (that isn't a mid-90s model). We're very proud of our current low-debt lifestyle, and we'd like to keep it that way awhile longer.


Katie said...

I sold my car a couple of years ago, when living in Chicago proved to be much easier without it...think $125 a month for insurance on a Toyota Corolla in the car the at least monthly parking ticket. So, Dave and I have been a "one car couple" for a while now. It has worked out fine, but we both regularly take public transportation to work. As long as your husband is willing to commute to work without the car, I bet you guys can do it!

Stephanie said...

sorry to hear :-/ good luck!!!

This comment has been removed by the author.

[Sorry. Major type-o on that last attempt, so I started over.]

I salute you for your commitment to low debt. You are part of a very small but (hopefully) growing club.

I'm really sorry about Shawn's car. I know he loved it. When I met it a year ago, I thought it was pretty cool too. :(