The car accident didn't seem so bad. After all, you didn't get hurt from it, but your car is a different story.
When your insurance company tells you they are totaling your car, you might wonder what to do next.
The good news is that you have options. You can let the insurance company keep the car, keep the car and fix it up, or look into options for selling totaled cars.
If you want to know what to do with a totaled car, read on to learn some important details about your options.
First Things First: You'll Have to Buy It Back
When you look at your car, you might think that it doesn't look too bad. Maybe you could keep it and fix it up, and you have the right to do this.
When an insurance company declares a car “totaled,” they will give you two options:
- You can let them keep the car
- You can keep the car
The amount of money the insurance company gives you for a totaled car is based on the current book value of the car before the accident plus the amount the car is worth to a salvage yard.
If you decide to let them keep the car, they will cut you a check for this amount. If you keep the car, they will deduct the amount of the salvage value before cutting you a check.
Keep in mind that you could likely sell the car to a salvage yard yourself for more money than your insurance company will give you as salvage value. Therefore, keeping the car will give you options.
Your Car Will Now Have a Salvage Title
Keeping a totaled car is sometimes a good idea, but it's important to understand that the car will have a salvage title.
You cannot drive a car with a salvage title. You also may experience problems insuring a car with a salvage title.
A salvage title means that, at some point, this car had so much damage that the cost to repair it exceeded the car's value. If the car is still drivable after the collision, you might think you can make a few repairs and begin driving it.
This is not the case, though.
If you want to fix the car and get insurance on it so you can drive it, you would have to deal with the salvage title first.
This will involve getting the car fixed, inspected, and approved. Next, you would have to get the title changed from salvage to “rebuilt.”
You Could Keep It, But There Are Risks!
One option you have is to keep this car and fix it up. Do you have time to do this, though? Do you have the tools, knowledge, and ability?
If you can't get to it right away, you should analyze the potential risks involved with letting a totaled car sit in your yard or driveway.
First off, totaled cars can leak. You might not mind a few small leaks on your driveway, but do you understand the potential risks this causes to the environment?
Secondly, will your neighbors appreciate seeing this car in your yard? Does your neighborhood even allow you to have wrecked cars in the driveway?
You might keep the car to fix it, but after looking at what it needs, you might find out that the car needs a lot more work than you expected.
It's also important to realize that driving a totaled car even after you make repairs is not always safe. Cars can have issues that you can't see or detect that could lead to major problems while driving.
One additional interesting point to consider is how depreciation works with vehicles. Your car loses value each day. Your car will not be worth as much tomorrow as it is today.
After analyzing these options, you might decide that keeping this car is not worth your time or effort.
There Are Options for Selling Totaled Cars
If keeping the car is not the best option for you, why not evaluate some of the options you have?
One option to consider is dismantling your vehicle and selling the parts individually.
- Did you replace the tires recently?
- Does your car have chrome wheels?
- Is there a great stereo or speaker system that is worth some money?
- Is the battery brand-new?
Taking a car apart and selling the parts is one option, but you should think forward a little bit before doing this. If you dismantle the car, including removing the tires, what will you do with the rest of the car afterward?
It might be harder to sell a car that is missing most of its parts. This means that you might get stuck with the left-overs and have trouble trying to sell the rest of the vehicle.
A second option is to sell the car to a private buyer or dealer. The trouble with this option is finding someone who will pay you for it.
A private buyer or dealer might agree to take the car off your hands but may charge you a fee to tow it or pick it up. You could end up owing money in this case.
The Simplest, Hassle-Free Way to Sell Your Totaled Car
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