Thursday, March 29, 2018

Grand Theft Auto; A TCO Win!

By now we are all familiar with my S30 and her heartrending sacrifice to save me from harm.  But not only did she sacrifice herself, she ultimately became one of my greatest purchase options ever.

Now, this is not the first car success story I have had.  Another accident in 2006 in my 2004 Prius also turned out to a very wise financial investment.  My 2004 Prius was a base model that after sales tax (the ONLY one of the 3  Priuses I owned that I paid sales tax on BTW...) was just over $22,000 and was a cash purchase.  I drove it 30,000 miles in 26 months until one day when a truck turned in front of me.  I swerved to avoid her but she creased the entire driver's side of the car.  IOW, not much damage at all.

But the timing couldn't have been worse...or better... Well, I guess it all depends on how you look at it.  The Prius was still a highly prized vehicle and Toyota had not been able to cover the queue of buyers. This pushed the value of the car up considerably.  Random reports of Priuses selling for $5,000 over sticker were shocking but true.

A very tight market means a very expensive repair market.  Despite what I considered to be very minor damage, it was  still damage across an entire side and the vehicle to my surprise was totaled.

Despite the other driver making a recorded statement to my insurance company less than 30 minutes after the accident, it took over 2 months for her insurance company to pay and the reason was the market valuation of the car was nearly $4,000 higher than the original sticker price of the car!

This meant the settlement had to be kicked to a department that normally only works on classic car claims and other "valuable" insurance claims.  After searching several markets for a lower price, they finally gave up issuing me a check for $23,800 PLUS tax... which strangely came in a separate check almost 2 weeks earlier...

So now we come to Nov 10th, 2016 and a visit to Ray Ishak at Campbell-Nelson in Everett. I got a VERY rare 2016 S trim with a 30 kwh battery. A trim that was only built for a month.  Not only was it a zero down lease, I also received a check later for $148.75 for "overpayment" on license fees.

I made 14 payments of $245.99 or a total of  $3443.86 minus the refund which on the surface made it a very cheap ride considering I drove it 29,413 miles or 11.2 cents per mile.

Now, I had a choice of letting the responsible party's insurance company handle the claim but wasn't sure how they would handle the lease end so I elected to have my insurance company handle the claim than go after the responsible party.   Doing this allowed me to stop lease payments as my settlement to NMAC happened in just over 2 weeks but I was still responsible for the $1000 deductible but the payment to NMAC left enough money that I was still able to get a check that more than covered the deductible so before the claim was settled, I wasn't only whole, I was in the black!

Well, today I received a deposit into my account for the $1000 deductible with another deposit expected in "5-7 business days" for my out of pocket for car rental.

The Math
Payments;  14 @ $245.99 = $3443.86

The Checks;   $148.75 for overpayment of fees.  Balance  $3295.11
Insurance payout   $1526.69      Balance    $1768.42

But then again, there was fuel costs which includes roughly 4934 kwh courtesy of NCTC along with $320.42 of my electricity and public charging fees.   Balance  2088.84   or  7.1 cents per mile.

There is also insurance costs which varies from model to model and year to year but enough to make significant differences in the types of cars I would be buying or leasing.

This drops my cost of ownership to $149.20 a month.  Not bad.

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