How I Got My New Car

[March 15, 2016]

Here’s how I got my new car.

On Nov 23 I was coming home in my 2008 black Prius, my husband Fr Gregory driving, and while we were waiting to turn left an SUV ran right into the back of us. Her insurance company told us it was a total loss (the frame was bent) and they’d be sending us a check.

I went and looked my old Prius up on Blue Book and it was worth much less than I had hoped. Well, I hadn’t really thought about it. I know a Prius keeps its value pretty well, but this one did have 137,000 miles, it had a crunched fender, lots of dings, freckled with white dots all over its hood when I apparently drove through a storm of golf balls, the paint worn out and not shiny, the interior heavily used (lots of road trips with grandchildren). I was guessing we might get $6000.

That was half the bad news; the other was that buying a more recent (used) Prius to replace it would come to about $20,000.

We began scanning the online sales looking for a deal. I was pretty annoyed that someone can run into me, and I lose my car whether I like it or not. I’m forced to spend all this money on a replacement car when I hadn’t planned to.

I prayed that the Lord would take care of us and lead us in the right direction. And I said that one thing I’d like would be if it was blue. And I thought immediately what a trivial thing that was to ask for, when other people in the world are praying just to survive.

We got a big surprise when the insurance company sent us a check for $7800. The detailed report on the car was oddly optimistic. The crunched fender was “a few dings.” The paint was “average” with “light scratches” and “slight fading.” The carpets were “clean…no significant wear” and the seats were “clean.”

Honestly, it was the strangest thing. It was like the Lord covered the appraiser’s eyes.

The next step was to find our replacement. I kept trying to balance high mileage and low price, and thought I might find a car a few years old, with 50,000 miles or so, in the neighborhood of $18,000.

Then we ran across an unusually good deal in Pennsylvania and went up to have a look. It was a 2012 Prius with only 20,000 miles.

This car had come into a Honda dealership as a trade-in two months earlier, and as the New Year was coming, they just wanted to get rid of it. They had already dropped the price $4000 since October. We were wary, because the deal seemed too good, and maybe there was something they weren’t telling us—there’s no “buyers’ remorse” law in PA. But everything really did look good. So we bought it for $15,000. I’ve put about 5000 miles on it—drove to Tennessee and back twice in the last two weeks, and it’s a beaut.

Also—it’s blue.

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Frederica Matthewes-Green

About Frederica Matthewes-Green

Frederica Mathewes-Green is a wide-ranging author who has published 10 books and 800 essays, in such diverse publications as the Washington Post, Christianity Today, Smithsonian, and the Wall Street Journal. She has been a regular commentator for National Public Radio (NPR), a columnist for the Religion News Service, Beliefnet.com, and Christianity Today, and a podcaster for Ancient Faith Radio. (She was also a consultant for Veggie Tales.) She has published 10 books, and has appeared as a speaker over 600 times, at places like Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Wellesley, Cornell, Calvin, Baylor, and Westmont, and received a Doctor of Letters (honorary) from King University. She has been interviewed over 700 times, on venues like PrimeTime Live, the 700 Club, NPR, PBS, Time, Newsweek, and the New York Times. She lives with her husband, the Rev. Gregory Mathewes-Green, in Johnson City, TN. Their three children are grown and married, and they have fourteen grandchildren.

Christian Life

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