Video: R.I.P. Lexus

Watch on YouTube: R.I.P. Lexus

My dad was rear-ended in a car accident this weekend–he’s OK. But he was telling us about getting repair estimates, Kelly Blue Book car values, and dealing with the insurance company. He thinks our Lexus may be a complete loss because it’s already pretty old and it might be too expensive to fix. That’s too bad. I liked our car.

R.I.P. Lexus.

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Video Transcript:

Hi! Welcome back. This is Matthew from A in Finance.

So something scary happened to my dad this weekend. He got into a car accident. He’s alright, so no need to worry, but it was scary just thinking about it. Anyways, he was on his way to pick me up from Ucode, the coding school I go to. When he walked into our classroom, he apologized that he was so late and told the instructors that he was late because he got rear-ended. At first, I thought he was joking because he’s always pulling my leg. But he was serious this time and he started telling us about the car accident.

When we go to Ucode, we always take the freeway. But that day of all days, my dad said it was busy so he decided to take a local route to skip some of the traffic and get onto the freeway at a different on ramp. So this on ramp went straight up facing the mountains with a perfect view of a huge smoke plume from the beginnings of the Santa Clarita Sands Fire. And, at the end of the on ramp, there was a stop light. In California, we have stop lights for our on ramps to help control the flow of freeway traffic. Anyways, my dad got to the on ramp and was waiting at the red light, when the car behind him zoomed up and rear-ended him. The driver later told my dad that that stoplight is “never” on and he was distracted by the smoke from the fire. Anyways, my dad and the other guy and his mom in the accident were all OK and that’s what’s important.

After he told us all of this, I said, “Can I see the car? How bad is it?”

As we were walking out the door, he told me, “It doesn’t look that bad. And it’s lucky I had some rope in the car so I could tie up the muffler. That’s another good lesson. Always have some basic tools, like rope, in your car. You never know when you’ll need them.”

When we got to the car, I said, “Yeah, it’s not so bad. I thought it would be all smashed up.”

My dad told me that the other guy’s car was, and he pulled out his iPhone to show me a picture of it. It’s whole front end was caved in.

Then my dad said that our car doesn’t look that bad on the surface, but he thinks it might be totalled. The passenger side doors don’t open and close properly so he thought the frame was bent and that would be very expensive to fix.

But then I said, “But couldn’t we get it fixed anyways?”

He told me, first that it was good that the other guy hit us because then his insurance company would pay for it. But then he explained that since the insurance company is paying, it’s not entirely up to us. He said that the insurance company might choose not to have it fixed if the cost was close to the value of the car before the accident. Instead, they would pay us a check for the value of the car because they could make back some money by selling the parts for scrap. My dad googled it and said that if the cost to repair is over 75% of the value, then insurance companies typically just claim a total loss.

My dad said it sucks because our car is more valuable to us than what we’ll end up getting for it. It’s more valuable to us because it runs great and we’ve kept it well-maintained ever since we bought it. But it’s 13 years old–same age as my sister Natalie–so it’s not worth that much to other people. It’s value has depreciated–remember from our Ferrari video? And, my dad doesn’t want to get a new car NOW because he’s on the wait list for the new electric Tesla Model 3, which doesn’t come out until the end of 2017.

Yeah that sucks. I liked our car.

Then my dad started giving me some other tips in case I get into an accident. He says you gotta do your homework before you talk to the insurance company because they are always going to try to rip you off.

First, the insurance company is going to send you to one of their repair shops, but they are biased. So you should go to your own shop to get an independent estimate.

Next, if you can, try to get three estimates. Why three? If one guy is way high, then there’s something wrong with his bid. If one guy is way low, then he’s probably pulling a bait and switch. That’s where he gives you a cheap price, but ends up charging you a lot more when you actually have the work done.

Finally, you need to find out the value of your car. So my dad made sure to get the Kelly Blue Book, Edmunds, and NADA car values for our Lexus. He says you have to know what your car is worth because it will end up in some negotiation in the end. Based on those reports, it looks like our Lexus is worth around $6,000 or $7,000 because it’s in good condition and it has low miles.

We’re glad that nobody was seriously hurt, but having the accident was really bad luck. My dad didn’t take his normal route and my dad just spent $600 to have some minor repairs done on the car that same day, which is now just a waste of money. He said this was like very bad karma, except he couldn’t remember doing anything bad to anybody recently. I told him it’s because he yelled at me the other day for watching too many YouTube videos–ha ha!

Well, my dad’s done his homework, so we’ll see what happens with the car.

R.I.P. Lexus.

Anyways, thanks for watching. Hoped you enjoyed it and learned something. Please subscribe to our A in Finance YouTube channel and like us on Facebook. And look out for another video next week. Thanks. Bye bye.

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