Buridan’s Ass: Car Edition
So I was out driving and the car got tagged in one of the hailstorms that you see on the news. Stuff the size of golf balls.
Well, I was in the car when it happened. I was more irritated than scared until the windshield got hit just right and it spiderwebbed. At which point, I decided to be equally irritated and scared. The hailstorm ended, I drove to where I was going, and I got out of the car and it, sympathetically, was a golfball too. With a broken windshield! And a broken plastic casing on the headlight! And one of the tail lights!
I called up my insurance people and told them “I was just caught in a hailstorm!” and they asked me “Are you in Colorado?” So we did the thing where I told them my name and policy number and they rattled off my car make and model and we agreed that I was me. We scheduled the meeting for last week and, yep, the car has been totaled.
Which leaves me with a decision:
A: They take my car and they send me a check.
B: I keep my car and they send me a smaller check.
My car, currently, is a nice little 2013 Yaris.
I talked to my coworkers. I had one who was a fan of option A. If I choose A, he explained, I will be able to put one heck of a down payment on a gently used recent Yaris with all of the recent bells/whistles but have a car payment for the next however many years. You know how cars start acting up at some point? You could reset this timer and kick that can down the road!
I had another co-worker who was a fan of option B. “WHAT WOULD DAVE RAMSEY SAY?!?”, he asked me. If I choose option B, he explained, I will spend some of the money on fixing the windshield and headlight and taillight casings and then still have money left over to put in savings. In Colorado, hail damage officially counts as “cosmetic damage” so the title will not be transformed automatically into a “salvage title”. Sure, it’s a shame about the cosmetic damage, but I’m not a particularly cosmetic kinda guy.
So I have a ton of good reasons to pick A.
And I have a ton of good reasons to pick B.
And I think I need a bunch of people to talk about car theory to help sway me one way or the other.
So… what would you do?