In 2005, in bumper-to-bumper traffic, an SUV rear-ended my stopped 1998 Audi A4 at about 20 mph. There was a ridiculous amount of damage to the rear and the passenger's side rear body (the SUV driver had tried to turn off into the breakdown lane to avoid hitting me). It was deemed a total by the insurance company. But we got a lot of money from it. A week later, we found a 1994 Honda Accord on Craig's List, with 65,000 miles on it, for only $5000, and we took it.
Thursday, I noticed a strange noise, like a tapping, coming from the rear of the Accord. When I remembered to check the car on Sunday, I found that the rear bumper had broken off near the tires. I was aware that my car had pretty nasty rust, but I hadn't had any issues with it before. But then I saw that someone had bumped into my car; there were scratches all along the bumper. Great.
Today, I learned that it would cost $500-$1000 to fix the hit-and-run damage, but that it would just break again in less than a year. The best choice was to get another car. And it just so happened that the Autobody in Carlisle had two.
So, next week, I will probably be purchasing, for $4000, a 2002 silver Honda Civic (4 doors, "loaded" model) with approximately 101,000 miles. There is also, for the same price, a 2002 Toyota Camry with 123,000 miles that's also a steal.
So, the moral of the story is that I have awful luck with having to very, very suddenly get a new car, but that I have fantastic luck in finding great used cars at even better prices.