How would you feel if....

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Aprilis | 01:45 Wed 03rd Oct 2007 | Body & Soul
25 Answers heard a very loud and very worrying crashing noise then went outside to investigate only to find that your car....that had been innocently parked at the roadside minding it's own business....had been totalled by an old man who, on turning a corner, had not braked but put his foot hard down on the accelerator? This happened to me this morning.

On going out to investigate further I found that he had not only written off my car by ramming it up the rear end and spinning it round so hard that it ended up on the pavement sideways and facing into the road, but he had also gone through a neighbour's wall, straight over said neighbour's motorbike flattening it, hit the front of TWO houses (listed buildings no less) and crushed another neighbour's' gas mains pipe.

By some miracle, despite the front of his car looking like crushed tin foil and having no aibag, the old man actually walked away from the carnage into an ambulance and was released from hospital two hours later. His son brought him back to the crash scene where the bewildered old man apologised for 'causing all this trouble'. Bless him. I felt very sorry for him but it was little consolation for watching my car being towed away most likely never to be seen again.

My car is a four door, executive saloon. The insurance covers provision of a hire car and what did they offer.....a bl00dy Ford Ka!!!! Did I accept this? Not a damned chance! My 'like for like' hire vehicle, whatever it may be, is expected to arrive tomorrow.

I keep telling myself that the important thing is that no-one was injured (or worse) but that isn't helping me to get over my car being wrecked. I insisted on driving it myself, complete with tyre hanging off the wheel rim, onto the recovery truck, then sadly watched it driven away with it's boot open and it's @rse hanging off. It's only a material posession so why do I feel so traumatised by it?


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BTW, neither of the houses were significantly damaged as the motorbike and a bush buffered the impact and the crushed gas pipe somehow escaped springing a leak.
I had a bloody bright yellow Lotus Elise as a courtesy car!!!!!

At 6 feet 1 and 16 stones, I could not get in the bloody thing!!!!

However when I finally managed to clamber in, I nearly had to call the Fire Brigade to get me back out
Perhaps be grateful that you or your family were not in the car at the time, rather than worrying about what courtesy car you were offered.
zebra, has that point not been covered in the posters last paragraph?
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Ooh Wardy, a yellow girly car huh? LOL!

I bet you were dead pleased that you didn't fit in it and didn't have to drive it around.

I like an Elise mind you, but then I am female so I wouldn't look like a [email protected] in one!

I only needed it for a few days so I perservered (sp??).

Once the flimsy roof was off, I could get in and out. Did I care it may have got damp or trashed if left off?
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Thank you Wardy, that was indeed covered in my Q.

I am also very grateful Zebra, that the builder who was due to do work on the front of one of the houses this morning didn't arrive until after the incident or he would be dead now. I already feel shallow, didn't you get that? It was actually the main point of my Q, but thanks for rubbing my nose in it!
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Wardy, you must drive quite a prestige car to get a Lotus as a courtesy car.
I agree Arpilis and Shadow Man, the point was covered that thankfully nobody was injured, but the main point of concern was still the damage to the car, thats all I meant.
At least your insurance is kicking in. A colleague of mine had her car totalled in that manner twice. Just sitting out side her home. The insurance companies will not process a clain without an accident report and b/c the driver left the scene the police said it was NOT AN ACCIDENT but a hit and run and would not issue an accident report!!!!!

The second time it happened we heard rumors at school that a disgruntled, uninsured student did it intentionally. No proof though.

I am sorry for your misfortune. I am glad no one was injured or worse.
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Zebra it is more the loss of my car rather than the damage and what it means in the long run. It will no doubt be written off and It isn't actually worth a great deal in financial terms. What I will get from the insurance will probably not be enough to replace it. I live in the middle of nowhere with little in the way of public transport. The nearest supermarket is an 18 mile round trip, there is no service that will get me to work, I have a child to ferry to and fro, my mother relies on me for a lot of things.... It's more than the loss of a vehicle, it's what it means to me in terms of a change of lifestyle. I was not at fault so why shouldn't I be extremely bothered by it. And why should I not be provided with the equivalent of what I have lost? I am going on holiday in a few weeks, why shouldn't I be entitled to a car that can comfortably carry four people and their luggage when that's what I had in the first place?
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EngTeach, I am sorry to hear that happened to your colleague. It must have been a nightmare for her.

I know things could be a lot, lot worse for me but I just can't help resenting the whole situation. If I had been at fault in any way I would accept the consequences as being of my own doing. But it seems so unjust that people lose out when these things happen, not just to me but to anyone in a similar situation. There are knock-on effects that involve more than just a damaged car. That's what is getting to me and I am trying to reconcile that with feeling shallow about losing my car. I wouldn't be remotely bothered if I was going to get it back fixed but I know I won't.
Aprilis, thank you for explaining and sounding much less shallow, I have been in that situation so can understand where you are coming from now. I also had to drive a Ford Ka whilst I was off the road, my Mum lent it to me ha ha. Couldn't even fit the shopping in the boot but never the less was still grateful!
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Zebra, I am grateful to have any car rather than no car at all honestly. I just resent the fact that through no fault of my own I will end up with less than I started with. They could give me a Mercedes tomorrow, it wouldn't matter because I will have to give it back once the insurance claim is settled.

You know what these insurance companies are like, they give you what THEY consider to be a fair price for your car but we all know that you couldn't go out and buy the same make and model in the same condition with the same mileage with the payout they end up giving you. We will have to buy another car but will end up getting it on finance that we can't afford. In the meantime I will be carless once the claim is settled and that will cause me no end of problems.

Then I think that other people have to manage with no car at all and then I feel bad. On the other hand I can't help feeling that my partner and I work for what we have and it all ends up being one step forward, two steps back and it has got me down.

If anyone had been seriously hurt though I probably wouldn't be thinking this way at all, as my concern would be for their wellbeing before anything else. As that isn't the case I am concerned at how this is going to affect me and my family when we have done no wrong.
Aprilis, completely know where you are coming from now, I have had 3 months (luckily 6wks school holidays weren't as bad) of trying to manage, school, nursery and getting to and from work with no car. I don't want credit/finance for a car. Just about manage on my salary now for myself and two children. Family have offered to help but trying to sort myself out.

Hope you get things sorted soon.
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Thanks Zebra. I am grateful for your input and I think I have worked it through and, with the help of all those who posted, answered my own question. Inside I am stamping my feet and screaming like a little kid having a tantrum when I am in fact a middle aged woman! My dilemma was am I being shallow and pathetic or am I justified? I have come to the conclusion that I am not shallow.... but I am both pathetic AND justified!
Maybe some of the emotion is about the idea of "What could have happened". Also it is the aggravation of the insurance company and repair shop (if that's an option) and the whole idea of helplessness that comes along when a random thing throws us off kilter.

Don't feel guilty about having a car. There is always someone who has less. (i don't mean that as harsh as it sounds.) You and your partner, like most of us who do the 1 step up and 2 steps back dance, work hard for what you have. This may also be why it is freaking you out so much. It always seems to be a battle for something or another. I know I sometimes feel like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Get off AB, have a drink and try to sleep. What is it over there? 2;30 am?? I hope it looks better in the morning. The later morning. Keep us posted.
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Thank you EngTeach. You are quite right, all of those issues do come into play. It was quite a devastating scene too and I think that maybe I haven't had anywhere to direct all that adrenaline that has built up since all the phone calls that go with the territory ended for the day. Posting on here and interacting with you guys has been quite therapeutic and helped me to vent a little.

I am going to try and get some sleep even though my brain is still buzzing. I am sure I will feel more reasonable in the morning. At least I have the day off work.....cos I don't have a car, lol! Well part of the day anyhow.
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Thank you Zebra and EngTeach for your thoughts.

And to you too Wardy for making me laugh when I'm feeling down. In the words of the late Dick Emery....Ooh you are awful....but I like you!

I know how you feel - last year I took my 76 year old Auntie to the funeral of her best friend. She'd driven to my house from where she lives (20 miles away) then I'd driven her the 40 miles to the funeral. When we got back it was to be faced with her car totally written off, just by being parked outside my house. Just what she didn't need at the end of a sad day for her. A couple of neighbours had heard the crash but unfortunately nobody had seen anything. The bloke next door works from home, in an upstairs bedroom so would have normally had a brilliant view of what happened. Unfortunately he'd been in the loo when it happened! My aunties insurance didn't cover her for a hire car so I had to drive her home. The insurance company came out the next day and reckoned it was a lorry that hit the car as even the roof was dented right in. It was arranged that they would remove the car in the next few days (this was now Thursday), but I explained that I was going on holiday on the Saturday so would leave the keys with next door. When I got back off holiday guess what - it was still sat there. When I contacted them they said they hadn't been able to contact me on the phone to arrange a suitable day - and they KNEW I wouldn't be there! Needless to say my Auntie now uses a different insurance company.
So I would say - don't worry about feeling traumatised - my Auntie did. As I said it was a sad day for her anyway and then to have her transport taken away from her like that was just so upsetting. She did say though that she was glad she hadn't just parked and was still getting her handbag and stuff - she could really have been hurt.

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