Was Your Car Flooded By Sandy? Take Your Time…

I just got my power back a few hours ago and boy am I grateful for Con Ed! My thoughts and prayers go out to all the people still without power, those who lost their homes and family members.

One of my family members called me on Tuesday and said they lost their 2010 Audi Q5 during Hurricane Sandy, totaled. He had actually been looking for a new car in the past few weeks so it didn’t totally ruin his day.  His car was just out of warranty with 53,000 miles on it and a couple of weeks ago a dealer told him it was worth about $24,000 on a trade in.  $24,000 probably doesn’t seem so low considering it was about $39,000 new. But this is one of those situations when you have to know cars and the auto market.

Of course I told him all insurance companies negotiate settlement amounts, which he already knew because he’s smart like that. When I told him not to accept anything less than low $30’s I think he thought I was a little crazy! He was probably thinking to himself: car is out of warranty, over 50,000 miles and about two and half years old. General rule of thumb is usually about 3 years old, 40-50,000 miles and your luck to get half the value it was new or a fraction more. But many cars these days are worth so much more, in fact I can think of at least 2-3 dozen models that would get close to the value it was new in the same situation.

I got a phone call yesterday morning from that same family member telling me the insurance company settled and gave him an amount. I could hear the happiness in his voice… I said let me guess, $32,000. He said $32,500! Talk about a home run. Here he was about two weeks ago possibly going to trade the car in for $24,000 (which was incredibly low, real number should have been $28,000) and he got $32,500. Really think about the big picture here… He had the car about 30 months, over 50,000 miles and just out of warranty. This car cost him $6,500 over 30 months, which comes out to $216 a month. Even on a 42-month lease I don’t think you could have leased a 2010 Audi Q5 for less than $500 a month 30 months ago and you probably would have had to put a few thousand down.

What if your totaled vehicle is a lease? Even if you don’t own it there may be thousands of dollars to pull out and put back in your pocket. I offer my knowledge and guidance under these circumstances free of charge.

If you lost your car in Hurricane Sandy or know someone that did, leave the year, make, mile and mileage in the comments section below and I will tell you the approximate value.

Hope you all enjoy the weekend!


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