*This post is a sponsored post for Cars.com. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Over the summer, the unthinkable happened. While my family was on vacation out-of-state, thieves broke into our house and ransacked it. In addition to stealing electronics and small valuables inside the house, the thieves found my husband and I’s car keys, and stole my Toyota Corolla and his Toyota Highlander from our driveway.
When we returned home, the most immediate loss was the loss of our vehicles and means of transportation. My dad let my husband borrow his second vehicle, a pickup truck, to get to and from work. But as a family of 5, we needed a vehicle that everyone could ride in (including my 2 children under 2 years old in their car seats) ASAP.
We filed our claims with our car insurance company, and eventually I received a car rental allowance. When I went to pick up my temporary rental vehicle, I was not expecting much. My only stipulation was that I needed a vehicle that would fit 5 people, so I assumed I would receive a sedan of some sort. Instead, I was given a 2017 Kia Sportage, similar to the picture below.
With any new vehicle, it takes a little time adjust. But as I drove the Kia Sportage over the next few weeks, while I waited to see if my car would be recovered, I started to like it more and more. The Kia Sportage was a definite upgrade, especially in the family vehicle department, to my tiny Toyota Corolla. Loading and unloading my 2 under 2 into their car seats, was easier in an SUV as opposed to a small car. The added trunk space made loading and unloading groceries and strollers a breeze. For the first time ever, I had a vehicle with a backup camera.
At the last moment, right before the insurance company was set to send me the settlement for my stolen Corolla, my car was recovered. By that point, I had made my peace with never seeing my “silver hot rod” again, and was more than ready to move on to a better family vehicle. As luck would have it, the insurance adjuster determined that my car was completely totaled, and instead of me having to take it back and fix it up to sell, the insurance company took it off my hands, and gave me a generous settlement for the car’s value.
With the insurance settlement in hand, and a general idea of what I wanted in a new vehicle, I set out researching small SUVs similar to my Kia Sportage rental. Cars.com is one of the first websites I checked.
From the Cars.com homepage, you can easily search for new or used cars, in whatever make and model you prefer. It also lets you search by zip code, so you can limit your search to nearby car dealerships.
During my car search, I focused on 3 main things: Price, Year, and Mileage. The Advanced Search option on Cars.com allows you to search a specific price range, year range, mileage, as well as other options such as exterior and interior color.
When I found vehicles I liked, I printed off their information pages. The next step was visiting the dealerships to test drive potential vehicles. Cars.com made finding and comparing vehicles for sale a breeze.
Before I knew it, I was driving off the lot with a 2013 Kia Sportage, that after my insurance settlement for my stolen and totaled Toyota Corolla, only ending up costing me $5,000.
Today, as I drive my small SUV, which is the perfect size for my family of 5, I realize that sometimes bad things can turn into good things. Having my car stolen was a horrible experience, but in the end, it allowed me to upgrade to a much-needed family vehicle, and for that, I am grateful.