It is very hard to shake off the reputation I have of being unlucky, when one hour after buying a new car, a truck crashes into you.
I was all giddy with excitement on Thursday when I caught the train to the dealership in Fareham from where I bought my car. Why would I pick a town 3 hours out of London to buy a car? Because after days of intense research, I had decided that since I was going to be driving to and around France in my car, safety features were paramount, and the only dealership in the UK that had the car I wanted fitted with an optional Driver Assistance package designed to avoid crashes, was in Fareham.
Yes, you can’t make this shit up.
So I get picked up by Ollie, the Sales Director, in Arundel, as clearly he was making enough commission from this sale to justify offering to pick me up from a train station on his drive to work, saving me some time on my commute. On the drive to the dealership we talk about Brexit (he is pro-Brexit) and my plans to drive to France with my puppy to start my new business on the road.
Buying a car takes bloody ages, it turns out. Paperwork, explanations, valeting, dealing with a bank that refuses to release payment, etc. But finally, FINALLY, I am the proud owner of the first car I’ve actually owned in 13 years. The last car I had I sold so I could fund Skimlinks. So it’s quite an emotional moment. No turning back now, my new adventure, my new stage of life, is finally beginning!
An hour later – on the 2 hour drive back home – a truck smashes into me.
We were both parked at the traffic lights, I was on the truck’s left. The truck was planning to turn right. As the lights go green, I start driving forward. The truck decides he doesn’t have enough space to turn right, so swerves into my lane to get a bigger turning circle, not seeing I was still there. He scrapes and crumples my right rear panel, and the force of the truck pushes me towards the left edge of the street, also scraping my left front alloy wheels. Which of course are quite nice ones that come with the optional Driver Assistance pack I obsessed over.
In shock, I drive to the other side of the intersection and pull over. The monster truck follows. We inspect the relative damage. His monster truck is obviously almost entirely intact. Lancelot is not.
I start to laugh. In a mad hysterical way. I mean… this is just awful. I JUST BOUGHT THE CAR! I upgraded on safety features! I was due to leave for my trip in a week! The universe was enjoying making a fool of my plans.
We swapped details, I called my insurer, and eventually I made my slow way home, now hitting London rush hour. I was a horrified distraught shell by the time I got home. On talking further to the insurer, it was unlikely my car would be fixed in time for my planned departure date. The good news was that the truck driver’s insurer had called and had accepted all liability, and were eager and willing to help me however they could.
However, by the morning, the truck driver decided to change his story. Now it went from being obviously and honestly his fault, to being “joint liability” saying I swerved into his lane. Considering I was going straight at a traffic light, and considering my front left wheels were smashed against the curb, the evidence clearly backs up my description of events, but turns out some humans are right royal fucks who would rather screw up an innocent person’s holiday, insurance premiums, and state of mind for the sake of their insurance excess, rather than tell the truth. Jewson Building Supplies – I hope you read this, and realise what shits you are being.
Because as a result of the driver changing his story, Jewson’s insurance company won’t help me now, and won’t supply me with a replacement hire car. My own insurance company could give me a replacement car, but it isn’t allowed to leave the UK. So I have no choice but to delay my trip. I am devastated.
And it could have been worse. I was due to let my friend rent my apartment from me from 1st April, but we changed our mind, so thankfully I still have a home, otherwise this truck driver’s actions would have rendered me not only carless but homeless.
Once the garage picked up my car, they said it would take at least 3 weeks to repair the car. 3 weeks! I am due to leave in 1 week! So… to my deep heartbreak, it now looks like I will need to postpone my trip, with zero financial support or compensation, despite the accident being entirely not my fault.