Our new car

I picked it up on Sunday, it’s nice to drive.

The few things that I immediately noticed was – the headlights are much brighter than on the other car. The ability to see the road at night is a welcome change from the previous short distance on the old car.

There’s less engine noise in the car, that’s not just because it’s a 1.8L instead of a 2L, it’s definitely a lot quieter in the Pulsar then it is in the Sonata, but this isn’t easily related to the body, it was raining on the freeway on the way home from Sydney, and it was definitely noticeable.

There’s a few issues with it, Tyres – there’s barely any tread on them, that is, there is nearly none on them.
The seller took the tow ball off (didn’t realise til I got home).
The stereo works for CDs only, FM gets nothing (antenna might not be connected).

I do like the interior light coming on inside the car at night when unlocking, I didn’t get out of work til after 6pm tonight, so I immediately noticed the interior light staying on, allowing me to find the key and start the car (at which point it immediately went off).

I like that it’s got an OBDII port readily accessible – this will make installing the Carduino much more simpler then the previous (OBDII puts out data that can be used for monitoring, where as the Sonata required soldering Cat5 to the ECU connectors and then calculations done based on pulses on a circuit to get the data).

Mechanically it’s got nothing obvious wrong, I’m getting used to the short shifts, and the car driving more like a car. I took it to a carpark tonight, to get it into tight turns to see if the CV joints were going to give us trouble, and the turning circle is noticeably tighter than our old car.

Insurance – since the car isn’t old, and worth a bit more than we paid for it, I figure if we get Comprehensive insurance, at a good rate, and then we can downgrade to Third Party after it’s a few more years on. I looked at a few of the big names advertising lately – “YouI” – I dislike them, previously getting a quote with them, they called me the next day – I don’t like that when all I want is a quote – and you have to get an SMS for a code to get a quote!

Next was Budget Direct, claiming that they’ll give you $50 if you find a better price elsewhere – $800 for coverage at $6700 – not what I wanted.

Progressive Direct came in at $616, which is very good, but I couldn’t get any good feedback online about whether they have a bad reputation on repairs (like AAMI).

Then, Bingle, which was cheapest of all $500-ish. I read online that one of the sticking points for their customers is the ‘not at fault’ claim, they require the excess until they get the funds from the at fault driver.

Now, on Friday, as I was driving down our street to go out, I reach the main road that intersects our street, ready to turn left. There’s a car already there waiting, so I wait a distance behind as I do (still seeing back tyres to give an idea). She starts reversing back (no idea why), and so I beep to get her attention, make sure she realises I am there…
She keeps going – I stay on the horn, and she hits us.
It was a solid bump too, the car felt as if it was being pushed back and the brakes were stopping her.

So she pulls around the corner, as she should, and she gets out, “I’m sorry, I wasn’t looking” – too damned right you weren’t looking.

I figure she’s damaged our bumper, sweet, we can get that new bumper I’ve been wanting to get (or have her insurer write off our car). I look at our bumper, pop the bonnet, look at the radiator and can’t see anything at all wrong with it. I look at the back of her Hyundai Elantra – nothing wrong with that, no scratches, nothing.

How’s that for (un)lucky, she’s reversed into our old car, and not a mark or scratch was made to either.

Back to Insurance, she’d be at fault there, and she told me she’d call me with her insurance details (she has NRMA Roadside membership lol, no insurance). She never did call back, but, in that case, we’d have been an additional $500 out of pocket for the excess to Bingle, until they successfully recovered the full amount from her, then Bingle would refund us that $500.

I know some people are broke, flat broke, they’d never pay, or they’d be ridiculously slow at paying (and Third Party is cheap, $200!). However, if the base premium for $6000 coverage, on a car we paid $4500 is $500, and the worst case, we’d have to pay an extra $500 for a not-at fault accident, where we’d get that back “eventually”, then it’s not so bad – $500 + $530 = $1030, just a slightly bit more expensive then the likes of AAMI, but still cheaper than CBA ($1600!).

And it’s not like you claim every year, so the savings end up stacking into your favour if you are a careful driver and avoid at-fault claims (and not at fault).

Self Insuring is OK if the car is worth a lot less (i.e. $1500 – you probably wouldn’t claim on the policy in 2 years), saving the money for a new car. But, don’t have “no insurance” like the idiot who reversed into us Friday.

She just got lucky that nothing got damaged (and I was looking for a new bumper insurance payout too >.< ). Back on topic, I like our new car. It's not boring like a Corolla, and it's not gutless like a Dae.

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