If your car has been in a serious accident and is considered totaled, the decision of whether or not to repair it can be a difficult one.
You will need to consider several factors when making this decision, including the cost of repairs, the value of your car's parts and labor, and your insurance deductible.
You should also consider how much use your car gets and whether you need to borrow or rent a vehicle while yours is being repaired.
If your car was damaged in a flood, fire, or other non-collision accident, the decision might be easier.
To help you weigh your options, we've put together a list of questions to answer when deciding whether or not to repair your totaled car.
If you decide to sell your totaled car fast and for the most money, your best option is a Cash Cars Buyer. You can always reach out to us at (773) 791-4363!
What is the definition of a totaled car?
A totaled car is typically one that has been in an accident where the cost of repairs is estimated to exceed the actual value of the vehicle.
You might also consider your car totaled if it's stolen or damaged in a flood, fire, or other non-collision accident that cannot be driven safely on public roads.
Therefore, before assuming that your car is totaled and moving forward to decide if preparing it is worth it, you should confirm that it's totaled in the first place.
Why do people decide to repair their totaled cars?
Although a totaled car might sound that it's beyond repair, sometimes the cost of repairs is not as daunting as it seems.
You might find it worth the cost of repairing your totaled car if:
- You need a vehicle and will not borrow or rent one.
- Your insurance deductible is small, and you'd like to avoid paying more out-of-pocket than you have to.
- The actual value of your car exceeds its replacement cost.
- The parts are still in good condition, and the repair could be completed within a few days.
- You have comprehensive insurance covering flood damage, fire, or other non-collision accidents.
The factors you need to consider when deciding if repairing your vehicle is worth it
Before making any decision about whether to fix or sell your totaled car, you must consider the following ten factors:
#1 the car's value
the first and most important factor in determining whether to repair your totaled car is its actual cash value.
For example, if you purchased your car for $20,000 and have 140,000 miles on it, its value might be around $5,000.
If your totaled car is estimated to cost $7,000 to repair it back to the condition it was before the accident; you will not break even.
#2 Repair costs
If your car has been in an accident and needs extensive repairs, you might also need to purchase new insurance coverage.
Also, if the value of your car's parts and labor exceeds its actual cash value, repairing it might not be worth it.
#3 Your insurance deductible
When considering whether or not to repair your totaled car, don't forget about your deductible! If your deductible is $1,000 or less, you could save money by avoiding having to pay more out-of-pocket.
#4 The length of time needed for repairs
After a serious accident, it can take several weeks before you can even think about selling it as is. For example, if your totaled car needs a new engine and transmission, it might take up to 10 days for the parts to arrive and three weeks before everything is installed.
This means that if you sell your totaled car immediately, you could be without a vehicle for almost three months.
#5 Availability of replacement vehicles
If you need to keep driving or choose not to replace your totaled car with another used vehicle, having an extra vehicle in the meantime might make repairing your existing one worth it.
For example: Let's say that your totaled car needs $4,000 in repairs, and you can borrow a similar-year model from a friend or family member while yours gets repaired. In this case, repairing it would be much more practical than buying a replacement car outright because the cost of repairs is much lower than your car's actual cash value.
#6 Your deductible is larger than the cost of repairs
If you have a low deductible, it might not be worth choosing to repair your totaled car instead of buying a replacement vehicle because you would end up paying more out-of-pocket for it.
For example, if your insurance deductible is $1,500 and the estimated cost of repairs exceeds that number by $3,000, you'll end up having to pay the additional amount. That's why it's important to do some research before making this decision.
However, even if repairing your totaled car isn't financially viable in this scenario because you would still be out-of-pocket for too much money afterward, you might still find it worth it because your deductible is lower than the value of your car.
#7 The availability and price of car parts
If your totaled car's parts are hard to come by or extremely expensive, repairing it might not be worth it either.
For example: If there is a shortage of used transmissions for certain vehicle models, actually getting one could take weeks to arrive. When shopping around for this part, you'll also need to factor in shipping costs as well as installation costs because buying a unit from an auto salvage yard will probably cost more than just having one installed at a local garage.
#8 The availability and quality of replacement vehicles
Even if the value of your totaled car doesn't exceed its actual cash value, it could still be worth repairing because you'll end up with a newer vehicle.
For example: If your totaled car is ten years old but only has 60,000 miles on its odometer, finding another one in the same condition might be difficult or expensive. With that being said, it might be more practical to repair your totaled car than buy something new, even if it isn't much more expensive.
#9 Cost of repairs vs. market value of replacement vehicles
When deciding whether to get your totaled car repaired or replaced with another used vehicle, consider how much replacement cars are selling in your area and how much it will cost to get yours fixed by an auto body shop. If getting a similar-year model entails a significant markup, repairing your totaled car might be the better option financially.
For example: If you can get a replacement vehicle for $3,000 more than your totaled car's value, but it needs its engine and transmission replaced as well as front-end repairs, it might not be worth getting one instead of repairing your existing car.
#10 The type of accident that caused your totaled car's damages
If the cost of repairing your totaled car exceeds its actual cash value because it got into a front-end collision, rear-end crash, or major rollover, getting another similar-year model might be cheaper than repairing it. However, if your totaled car was hit by another vehicle in the rear or suffered damages because someone backed into it, you can probably get it fixed for less money.
What are my options if I decide not to repair my totaled car?
Let's say you decided it's not worth fixing your totaled car. The question always remains, what are your options for getting rid of a totaled car? here are the top options to consider:
#1 Skip the repair work, keep your totaled car & get a replacement vehicle
Not fixing your totaled car and keeping it is an option if you plan on driving it until it falls apart or is no longer safe for you to drive.
However, once your totaled car has been declared a total loss by your insurance company, the vehicle will no longer be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). As such, if you plan on using this vehicle to get to work every day, you might not be able to do so anymore.
If you want to keep your totaled car but still use it for everyday transportation, the best option is usually not repairing it because this will be cheaper than getting another similar-year model or buying a new one.
#2 Sell your totaled car & get another used vehicle
Getting rid of your totaled car and getting another used vehicle all at once is an option if you want to skip the expense of having someone inspect your damaged vehicle or try to sell it yourself.
However, finding a buyer for a totaled car involved in an accident might be difficult, especially if severe damages. Also, selling your totaled car yourself will probably be more expensive than dealing with an insurance company.
#3 Sell your totaled car & get a new vehicle
Getting rid of your totaled car and buying something new all at once is another option, but it's usually pricier than buying used because you'll have to factor in the cost of depreciation. Also, finding a new vehicle with the options you want might be difficult.
#4 Get a salvaged replacement car & repair the damages yourself
Getting a salvaged vehicle is another option, but it means buying one that has been considered totaled by an insurance company or lienholder either because of serious damages or lack of title.
A salvaged replacement car cannot be registered or legally driven on public roads unless it's also been repaired.
As such, buying a salvaged vehicle amounts to purchasing something you can't drive without taking additional steps to have it properly inspected and repaired (and doing this yourself will entail additional time and cost).
#5 Get another similar-year model & repair your totaled car yourself
Getting another similar-year model is usually cheaper than getting a replacement vehicle, but repairing your totaled car yourself will be more expensive.
#6 Get another similar-year model & have the damages repaired through a collision repair shop
Getting a replacement vehicle and repairing the damages at a collision repair shop is also an option. Still, it will probably be more expensive than getting another similar-year model.
If you have collision coverage on your policy, the repairs should theoretically be covered if they do not exceed your deductible. In all likelihood, though, you'll still have to pay a portion of the total cost of the work because that's how businesses make money – by charging their customers for services rendered and making a profit from them every time.
#7 Get another similar-year model & have other damages repaired through a body shop
Getting a replacement vehicle and having other damages fixed at a body shop is yet another option, but this will also mean paying additional money to get everything done properly (and this is something you need to budget for).
The best thing you can do before filing a claim with your insurer is to find out all the information about your specific policy. This way, you'll know what's covered and what isn't before anything bad happens.
#8 Get another similar-year model & have everything done through a reputable collision repair shop
Getting a replacement vehicle and having everything fixed properly through a reputable collision repair shop is your best option because it will cost you less money in the long run.
This way, you won't have to worry about getting everything fixed by specific dates or whether you picked the right insurance company for your needs. You'll also be able to afford top-quality repairs that are carefully completed by skilled professionals to the manufacturer's specifications every time.
Why should I choose Cash Cars Buyer to sell my totaled car?
Cash Cars Buyer is a leading cash-for-car business in the USA that offers top dollar to people who need to sell their totaled cars quickly (no matter what condition they're in).
Whether you want to get rid of your totaled car or trade it for something else, we will be happy to tell you exactly how much money you stand to make when you sell your car for cash.
Don't bother replacing your totaled car or updating it in any way
Selling your totaled car without replacing it is an option, but this means losing the use of it completely.
If you are no longer covered by insurance, selling your totaled vehicle might seem like a good idea, but this is never a good idea, mainly because many things could happen that lead to an accident and result in you being liable for damages.
Don't bother replacing your totaled car; fix it yourself & keep driving it
Driving a repaired totaled car is another option, but it will be more expensive than getting a replacement vehicle or having everything done properly through a collision repair shop.
This is an option worth considering if you have the technical know-how and don't mind getting your hands dirty. Still, it will cost you more money than if you were to do the repairs yourself on something that wasn't totaled in the first place (and one of which you can drive and enjoy to its fullest capacity).
Therefore, if you don't want to go through all this hassled, we highly recommend you contact Cash Cars Buyer today by giving us a call at (773) 791-4363!
If you've just been in an accident and your car is totaled, the first thing you need to do is take a step back and assess the situation.
Are you better off repairing your car or getting a new one? Here are 8 points to help you make that decision.
=>In most cases, it's wiser to get another similar-year model and have all the damages repaired through a collision repair shop because this will be more affordable in the long run.
However, if you're no longer covered by insurance or don't want to go through the hassle of getting everything fixed properly, selling your totaled car for cash might be a better option. Contact Cash Cars Buyer today at (773) 791-4363 for an estimate on