Because Florida, where we've had to replace three windshields in ten years, Diana had a random driving encounter with a crow bar yesterday. The car in front of her swerved and missed it, but there was no time for her to react. She's pretty sure she ran over it with the front left wheel, but it managed to securely puncture the back left tire, stay there, and trash the inside of the wheel well, along with part of the bumper. I assumed that the damage was just cosmetic, that worst case, we'd have to replace the wheel. But the insurance adjuster had a look today and the initial estimate is at $12k of damage. If they get it on the stand and find suspension damage, it might end up in total territory.
We just put new shoes on that car, a Model 3, after 50k miles and five years, and given its general reliability and lack of necessary maintenance, I figured we could get another three or more years out of it easily. The truth is, at this point, that I would rather they do total it. It's all around easier that way. It'll take a month to get parts at best, and then we have a once-damaged car to sell. And as much as I don't want another car payment, with the enormous tax credit and far lower price, we could replace the same-spec car and have the odometer reset and have it paid off in pretty short order (assuming the math is right on the value of the old car).
I've come to hate cars. I used to be very practical with my cheap Toyotas, even with the Priuses, but I got sucked into the excitement of EV's. I still love EV's, and we'll never have a gas car again, but this sort of event brings me back from the place where I think those cool exotic German EV's are somehow worth it. Even if I could justify the fiscal implications, and I'd much rather travel, the idea that some random thing like this can trash the car makes me a realist again. Diana getting creamed two years ago, and the Christmas Eve crash a decade ago, plus the windshields, it's all exhausting.