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Car problems and expecting!

Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:49 pm
by Bella888
My husband and I are expecting our first child due this summer and recently my partner has been involved in a car crash that was not his fault. He is completely fine but the car has gone to get repaired and in the meantime we have a hire car. The car he has is an old sports car which has a 3 litre engine. I have always disliked the car as we have had to constantly spend money on it over the years repairing it or maintaining it. Although I haven't liked it I have just put up with it as we didn't have any children and he loves it so much. Now it has been crashed into however I am concerned as the car is old and is likely to be a write off. My husband is now saying that even if it is a write off he wants to buy the car back and pay the extra for the repairs (I'm not even sure if this is something you can do?) I really want to buy a family car that we will be able to fit our son in and he said that he doesn't want a rubbish car that he doesn't like. As his car is old he is only likely to get about £2,500 for it and says that he won't like any other car that he can get for that price. I am worried as we already have some debt to pay off and a baby on the way and I am concerned that this will be another added expense to us that we can't really afford especially when we need so much for the baby and we are also talking about moving house soon. We do have my car which is more sensible and this is his reasoning for keeping the car he has. My car is a small run around 1.2 which is fine for getting me and my child around but we will then be paying high petrol prices due to the 3 litre engine on his car and more repairs over the years for my husband to only ever drive it to work and back. We could not fit a child seat in it as the back seats are tiny and cramped and there is hardly any boot space. Am I being unreasonable by expecting my husband to trade this in for a more sensible car? I could understand if it was just the 2 of us but not when we are starting a family. Over the years when it has had to go to the garage my husband has just put the charges onto a credit card and we always seem to be paying it off. I am not going to be at work once I have my baby as we can't afford the childcare and all my wage would be spent on nursery fees so my husband and I have agreed I should stay at home. I don't want to make him unhappy but this situation really makes me worried. He is very stubborn and don't feel I am going to get anywhere on this. I have even offered to sell my car so we can buy a nicer family car that he will be happy with but I've had no response. I feel really stressed about this as I am pregnant and don't want to have to worry about these things. I don't know whether this is my hormones and I am being unreasonable or is my husband being selfish considering we have a child on the way?

Re: Car problems and expecting!

Posted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:19 am
by ILoveChristmas
Hi Bella, welcome to PP.

I think the majority of members here will understand and agree with your view that the sensible way forward is for your husband to take the insurance payout he'll get if the car is written off and put that towards something more practical. Your concern over your financial situation is entirely justified in my view, after all if the repairs to his current car have to be covered by credit card I'd suggest he can't really afford to run it now, even without the added financial pressure of a new baby, which is considerable.

That being said I think it's important to try and understand your husband's perspective. I suspect that he's unsettled by the coming and inevitable changes in your lives and is concerned that his whole life is going to change completely. I think where you see his car as nothing more than a car and a money-pit, he sees it as much more than that and possibly as an escape and a connection back to a time where he could have a car like that without having to consider the practicalities of it. In other words, I think your husband may be scared at the prospect if his life changing completely and is attempting to hold on to his car as a means of proving to himself that it's not going to happen.

As you know very well money can cause a great deal of stress and so it's very important that you're both on the same page. Perhaps you could invite your husband to take you through how he's established that his sports car is affordable? Maybe by giving him the opportunity to demonstrate its affordability he won't feel you're being so negative about his pride and joy. If it's not affordable then hopefully the exercise will emphasise to him how unaffordable it really is.

As with all situations like this communication is the key. I know you've spoken to him about it and he isn't keen to listen but you really must sit down with him and make it clear how much it's affecting you by being stressed and by extension how much it's affecting your baby. It's important, regardless of your true emotion over the issue, that you remain calm. It's a touchy subject for him so it's important to stop the conversation descending into an argument.

I have a feeling that the whole issue of the car may be academic though. If it's written off as Category D, i.e. written off yet theoretically repairable, just not economically so, then yes your husband could buy it back and repair it himself, but at what cost? He'll first need to pay the £2500 he gets from the insurance company, plus all the cost of the repairs which of course will be far in excess of his own estimates. Once he sees the costs involved I wouldn't be surprised if the idea is abandoned, at which point you can begin campaigning for him to get something more sensible as a replacement.

Re: Car problems and expecting!

Posted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:21 pm
by Bella888
Thank you for your reply. I will try and speak to him again about the car like you suggested but it seems when it comes to his car he doesn't see any sense. I can already guess the response I am going to get which will be that if he takes the money then he won't be able to find a suitable car that he is happy with and we will have to spend even more money on a new car than we would fixing the old car. This has always been his excuse previously as we have literally spends thousands of pounds over the past 3 years on it. We could have had a really nice sensible family car by now but he always thinks short term.

I totally agree with you that the car is something that represents his youth and independence as a man and he is frightened to let that go. However I think it's time he did grow up as he is 35 now. He already has his own "geek room" at home all to himself and enjoys spending time and money on his hobbies which is what makes him happy. Then we have the car. He just can't seem to understand when you have children we have to sacrifice things and priorities change. I love our son so much and he is not even here yet but I don't think he feels the same. I have bought him a book for expecting dads and he hasn't once even picked it up to try to read it. I have told him how much it hurts me that he won't read it and he just keeps telling me if I keep mentioning it then he won't read it, he will only read it in his own time. I stop asking him about it and then he still doesn't read it. I do ask him if he is happy about the baby and he says yes and that he just doesn't get excited about many things. He has attended the scans with me and seems happy enough, I guess he just isn't an enthusiastic person. This baby is so special to me as it will be my first blood relative as I am adopted and I wish he could feel the same.

Anyway as you can probably tell our problem probably runs a lot deeper than the car issue. I have been thinking that even if the car does get repaired by the insurance company I am still left in the same predicament. We will still have a car that he can only use to drive to work and back and that we spend a lot of money on each time it needs a repair. I just feel so hurt that he seems so reluctant for things to change and to grow up. I have had to nag him constantly over the past year or so to join a pension scheme at work as he has never had one. He has finally joined up but it seems I always have a struggle with him when it comes to being sensible about our future together. I think I am just rambling now so I will stop now! Thank you again for your advice and I will speak to him and let you know how it goes x