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Monday, February 20, 2012

The Car Conundrum

Last week Honey was rear-ended on his way home. He was fine except for a bit of a bruise on his wrist, but his little car was not. The entire back end looked like it was actually holding on by the cord he used to secure the trunk closed, and both break lights were out. It was driveable, but not safely so.

I've blogged about our little car before. It's a 2003 BMW 325i. It's cute and sporty and Honey loves it. It's also cost us far more money than [I believe] it's worth. We had to pay almost $700 to fix a window that got stuck in the down position last year, and then Honey got into an accident and we had to pay the deductible for the repairs. Right before that accident, we realized that two more windows weren't working anymore, but we weren't about to pay to have them fixed. And now another accident. Sigh.

So here we are, with the little Beamer back in the shop, and here is our conundrum:

We are moving in a little more than 3 months. We had planned to sell the BMW shortly before we leave. Though it had been wrecked and repaired once in the last year, it was still in amazing condition (save the windows..). We were hoping to just get what we owe on it, no more. Neither of us figured we'd be able to get more for it anyway because it HAD been wrecked. That was already going to be difficult enough, without it having been wrecked again.

Oh, and last year when it was wrecked, it took well over 3 months to get the parts to fix it on island and then for it to actually be repaired. THREE MONTHS.

So now what? If USAA decides to repair it instead of total it, it could take up to 3 months. And then how in the world do we sell a vehicle that has been wrecked twice in the last year??

If USAA decides that it's a total loss, what do we do for the next 3 months before we move? We're certainly not in a position to purchase another car. Not only do we REALLY not want another car payment, but we couldn't take it with us when we move! The Navy will only move one vehicle. And the prospect of being a one car family when Honey works 15 miles away, has to be there at 6:30 many mornings, doesn't get off work until 6 pm many evenings, and we have two babies... just sucks. 

This is the first time I've wished we lived close to base so that we could buy him a bicycle, and he could just peddle to work.


  1. Is the option to get a low cc motorbike (aka, scooter) feasible? We had friends on Guam that did that when he returned from Afghanistan and only had a few months before moving. He paid around $700 and sold it for about that as well.

    Not sure how your lemon lot in HI works but the one in Japan often has cars from Military Members or Spouses that are also dealers. They go to the auctions or scour the ads, buy used cars, and put them on the lot. They'll often lease a car out for a few months and then put it back on the lot for sale when you're done with it.

  2. I agree with Sam. My friends who were stationed in Honolulu for 2 years bought an SUV from the lemon lot there (not sure where it is, near the NEX, maybe?? I can ask) and sold it again right before they moved since the Army is the same and will only pay for one vehicle. Being stationed in HI does bring its challenges, that's for sure!! I'm hoping USAA makes a decision swiftly. They're usually pretty good about that, but sometimes you have to pester them. Good luck!