We woke up this morning to a phone call from local police, to say they'd had a report that our car, parked on a public road had been hit and was now blocking somebody's driveway. When we arrived at the scene, our car had been shunted a good 30ft ahead of where it had been parked, and had been hit with such immense force that it had flattened tires and torn half the back panel off.
The driver of the offending vehicle hadn't stopped, leaving their entire wing mirror and various parts of their body work on the verge. Despite there being huge amounts of damage to their car (we have no proof of this other than the missing mirror etc, but to shunt that much forward and cause that much damage - the speed must have been immense), the police are not interested in pursuing the culprit, thus meaning we instantly lose our excess on the insurance.
We purchased the car just before Christmas with savings from a deceased family member. She would have wanted us to have some independence. We put a lot of thought into what car would be small and practical for us to get about in easily, and at the same time, what would be economical and actually good for us. We had a new clutch put in a couple of months back, leaving us even further out of pocket now. The car was in absolutely immaculate condition until this point, had been well looked after for years, and it seems like such a horrendous waste for this to just end up on a scrap yard.
We live in an area that has gone steadily downhill in recent years. It's not a pleasant place to live, and is getting more and more depressing by the day. We use our car to have an escape available, to enable us to just spend some time each week out of the town. One of the main reasons for getting a car again, was that we are both starting full time university courses next year, having worked very hard to finally be able to do that. (we're both 34) The nearest university that offers suitable courses for us is UWE Bristol (an hour's drive). This would be physically impossible to navigate on public transport both financially and practically.
I have numerous health conditions which prevent me from being able to walk long distances, but we rarely use the car about town unless collecting something too large to carry.
My job is working with community organisations,helping them to gain funding, advising them on starting their projects and businesses to serve the community. We're currently working on new projects to try and bring life back to the community we live in. We donate a lot of our time volunteering for the organisation that owns our home.
We are on a very low income, supporting us both on a part time wage. We manage, but there's very little spare. We make the best of things - because that's the kind of people we are.
The insurance company has told us that after everything is paid for, and their fees are covered - we'll be left with nothing. It all cancels each other out. We'll have no car, and no means to replace the car.
We have been told that we have the option to keep the car and repair it ourselves - but of course with no funds from the insurance, we have no means to do this, and as it's not in a condition we can just drive it to a garage - we run the risk of actually ending up worse off for trying to do this. (the insurance company also charges a fee to enable us to do this)
So, why am I here writing all this? Basically, we've had a rough few years. We were just getting back on our feet, and starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel - and then this happens. In an ideal world, we would just like enough to be able to salvage our beautiful little car. To keep the independence that we've only had for the last four months. Failing that, we would love to be able to use the rest of the year's insurance (which they won't refund, but have said we can use it up until the end of the policy in December) on a new car. (a new to us, second hand runaround!)
We're hoping that no matter how small your contribution, we can really make this work! We are grateful for anything you can give.
Thank you for reading my essay! You've earned a cup of tea now for sure!