On the Trans Canada highway between Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Taber, Alberta, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Calgary, Alberta on Wednesday.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Last car payment!

Today, we make our last car payment! It's always a good feeling to make the last payment on a loan, and in this case it will be about $350 per month that we no longer have to pay!

We bought our little 2006 Pontiac Wave (sold as the Chevy Aveo in the U.S.) in June of 2006. At the time, I was working as a lease return inspector for GMAC. It was a contract position where I had to use my own vehicle to do the job, and when GM offered us a fantastic deal on a new car at $500 over dealer cost, with zero percent financing over 4 years, we took them up on it.

We had them find us the car we wanted and it was shipped to us from another dealer. We weren't fussy on colour, so long as it wasn't yellow! And I was specific about three things...I didn't want air conditioning, but it had to have a standard transmission, and it must have cruise control. This is an odd option package, but they found us what we wanted, with the bonus that it had power windows and remote power locks as well.

Car payments over 4 years were $145.47 every two weeks, so approximately $300 per month. But we get an added bonus that we no longer have to pay as well.

When you have a car loan, the lender requires that you carry at fault collision insurance on the car. But now that it is paid off, we no longer have to have that if we don't want it. The car now has 138,000 kms (86,000 miles) on it, and although it's in fantastic condition, it's only worth about $4,500 now. If we remove that part of the coverage, I'm thinking we can save almost $50 per month, but I have yet to ask my broker about that. And, we'll shop around for a better price anyhow. Currently paying $98 per month for insurance, and I think that's way too much.

Our little car back in June 2006 when it was brand new!

It's been a great car. Other than change the oil, and replace tires, there was one little problem with the cruise control release switch on the clutch pedal, and I've had one wheel bearing replaced. That's pretty good!


  1. Just a caution.
    When you take off collision coverage, even if you feel the other guy is at fault in a collision, you have to wait and deal directly with his adjuster before your car gets fixed. Given the small cost, sometimes it's better to carry it.
    Especially when there is a dispute, (he said/she said) and no fault chart for you to access. Adjusters can handle these things faster and easier than you battling an insurance company. They are obligated to believe their insured, who will believe you?
    Unless it's cut and dry (which most claims aren't), you may be left hanging for a long time before your car gets fixed.
    But it's your call.
    (I was a broker for 19 years, and am now an underwriter for an insurance company).

    Good luck on your decision. Perhaps a higher deductible if you feel more comfortable with that to lower premiums?

    Just my opinion of course :))

    Congrats on paying off the car!!!

  2. I was in the collision repair business for 20 years, so I am very familiar with car insurance and how the insurance companies find various ways to rip you off.

    What I didn't realize had changed so much is that collision insurance is now a very small portion of your policy payment.

    I already had a $1,000 all perils deductible, as well as a $300 deductible if the claim IS my fault. With the car only being worth about $4,500, it's simply not worth having collision insurance.

    Unfortunately, I think I'm still going to be stuck with a bill of about $900 a year just for the very basic insurance. Although I can now drop the insurance (except for comprehensive, which is relatively cheap) while we're gone south in the motorhome.

  3. Wow Ontario insurance is strange for sure.
    It is good you can reduce the cover for the time you are down in mexico though. At least that will save some dollars!
    I was never an adjuster, and to be honest I have never had a claim, I just sell the product.


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