I had a 2001 Oldsmobile Aurora that I paid $1100 for one year ago. It was a very nice car, even though it was 16 years old.
I have MS and driving has become kind of scary; I feel I am a danger to myself and everyone else on the road. So, when a new friend's ("Dan's") car broke down (hopelessly) and he couldn't get to work, I made him a deal. I told him that he could use my car as if it was his if he would drive me to appointments/shopping once or twice a week. His work schedule is such that he can do that as long as I avoid making appointments during certain hours. I kept paying the required liability insurance and the car remains in my name.
About a month ago, he gave me a ride to the store and I saw a warning on the dash that the oil pressure was low. He said, "Yeah, I just checked it. It's a quart low; I'll put oil in it when I get home." A mutual friend told me he said the same thing to him the next day.
Fast forward a week.
Dan called and told me that the car had up and suddenly died. The mutual friend (a mechanic) towed it home and checked it out. The oil was completely empty and dry, and the engine had seized. He tells me that it would cost significantly more than the car is worth to get it to run again. He confronted Dan, and Dan pretty much copped to lying to both of us, being very irresponsible, and killing my car. He apologized and said he owed me a car.
I told myself when we made this arrangement that it could cost me a car if he got in an accident since I only carry liability insurance, so I was kind of emotionally prepared. I decided that the friendship was worth trying to save, so I made him a deal. I told him that he could buy another car when he could and put it in my name (on paper only). Then I would register the car and continue to pay the insurance in return for chauffeur service. Alaska allows one auto to be registered for free if the owner qualifies for handicapped plates (which I do). Further, he could "buy me out" over time with driving and other easy work that I would "pay" at $20/hour until $1100 is reached (for which he has plenty of time). At that point, the car would be his without strings. He agreed.
Dan just received his and his daughter's Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend ($2200 total) and has been looking for a car for a few days. Now he's dodging my calls and I'm feeling screwed. I'm also going stir-crazy because I've been stuck home with no car for three weeks. My dividend was spent before all this happened, so buying a car for myself is not an option right now.
I'm at a loss. I enjoy Dan's company and I actually still care for him. I was hopeful that we'd get past this with little pain but now I'm afraid that's a pipe dream. I need transportation and I'd like to keep my friend.
What can I say to him when I see him again (probably this weekend) to possibly see my needs here and that not screwing me over could be in his best interest? I probably won't try to sue him even if a lawyer says I have a case, but I'm willing to threaten him with it.