Though I was gutted to lose my less-than-eight-months-old Holden Astra, I did grow very fond of the Commodore. It's comfy like a big old taxi, a dream to drive, and nicely powerful. I can even parallel park it.
In the last couple of years we have been toying with the idea of getting a newer car. While the Commodore was only 3 years old when I got it, it is now 12 years old and showing its age. Half the electrics no longer work, it increasingly needs repairs and attention, and it's looking and feeling a little worn.
But, as we only just paid off the loan on Y's car this year, we decided not to jump into another car loan, and to stick with what we had for another couple of years.
Then last Monday happened.
I've started taking the train to work regularly (though I confess I have slipped a little since I resolved in July to take the train 3 days a week).
On Sunday night I woke in the early hours of the morning and then had an uncharacteristic bout of insomnia. Unable to get back to sleep, I ended up sitting in the lounge with a cup of tea and the Sunday paper magazines, and then a book, for a couple of hours. Finally willing myself back to bed and then to sleep, I knew I was going to have trouble getting up the next morning.
I did eventually get up, but was too late to catch the train, so I drove.
I left work that evening in the middle of a massive downpour. Driving isn't fun in heavy rain, so I was careful, but right on the on-ramp to the freeway we passed an accident, and just as we did, I got a funny feeling and checked my mirror - just in time to see a car coming way too fast, then slamming into the back of my car.
The impact was incredible, and so was the noise. It felt and sounded as if the back half of my car had been caved in. But - good old Commodore! - that was not quite the case. I was later surprised to see there was just what looked like a big dent, and the lid of the boot had buckled up a bit. Not even the rear lights were smashed.
The driver of the other car was very apologetic and admitted he had been distracted by the accident next to us and wasn't looking. We swapped details, and I drove home and phoned in the insurance claim the next day.
A week later, because multiple panels were buckled and due to its age, the insurer has declared the car a write-off.
Though we won't get much cash for it, we now get to go shopping for a new-to-us car (and loan!)
I admit I'm a bit excited. I already have an idea of the kind of car I want, and I don't plan to spend too much time shopping. I've already become comfortable with carrying another 4-year utterly extortionate fixed rate loan. Because: I get a car!
I suddenly remembered today the Commodore had a full tank of petrol.
But then I remembered it was also overdue for a service we hadn't paid for, and that we were on the verge of shelling out for a new radiator, plus re-tinting to repair the torn window tinting on the driver's side window. All these things I had put off for weeks, and now won't need to do at all. And although we will need to take on a loan, we will get a car that is more economical to run and shouldn't need repairs (I hope) for some time. So all in all, we've come out of it OK.
So hooray for my strange sleepless night last Sunday!