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What to do With a Totaled Car

What to do With a Totaled Car

If you have totaled a car in an accident or if it has simply died of old age, you are probably wondering if you should sell it for scrap or try to sell the parts yourself. There are actually a few different options a person with a totaled car has for selling it. The Kelly Blue Book has no listing for totaled car values, so it is important to do your research first.

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

Let Your Insurance Pay You for It

There are two kinds of auto insurance rules in the U.S., fault and no-fault. If you live in a no-fault state, your own insurance company will pay accident-related bills, no matter who is at fault. If you live in a fault state, such as Illinois, the insurance company of the at-fault driver will be responsible for paying your hospital bills and for damages to your vehicle.


If your car is totaled, the insurance company is supposed to pay you the amount of money that your car was worth at the time of the accident. Insurance companies have been known to try and lowball drivers when it comes to the value of their cars. You want to make sure their offer is legitimate before you accept it.


Insurance companies are not required to share their methods of determining the value of the car. They will always depreciate the value according to the age of the car. They can also deduct money from the value due to any damages the car has incurred over the years. There is no limit to the amount of money that an adjuster can take off for damages such as destruction from a prior accident. They can also reduce the cost for damages such as nicks and dents, however, that amount is limited to $500 in the state of Illinois. They must provide you with a breakdown of the damages.


Insurance companies will work hard to keep their money in house. Sure you could hire a personal injury attorney to help you get a fair price. However, you may want to consider whether or not the difference in the money you will get is worth the cost.


Payment of Fees and Taxes

If you do decide to take the insurance company’s settlement, it is imperative that you buy a new vehicle within 30 days. The insurance company will be responsible for sales tax and transfer fees if you buy a car within that time frame.


Hold on to The Car

If your car is still running, you can always hold onto it. Although it might have a lot of dents and damage, a “totaled” car may actually still run. If you only need it to go to work and get groceries, you may want to consider the possibility of keeping it until you are ready to buy a new car. If this is the case, you should get it checked out by a mechanic to make sure that it can pass emission standards and will not stall out in the middle of traffic. They can also make sure that your vehicle is safe to drive.


Donate the Car

If you are feeling charitable or if you are looking for a tax write-off, you may want to consider donating your car to charity. There are organizations that provide training to mechanics that look for totaled cars on which to train aspiring auto mechanics. Other charities such as the Make a Wish Foundation use car donations and the profits from them to fund their organization’s operations.


Before you donate your car, you should give us a call to see how much it is worth. A charitable organization might be able to tell you the amount of the tax write-off you can get for the donation. That way, you can make an informed decision about what you want to do with the vehicle.



Repair The Car

In some cases, a car has sentimental value. In other cases, some people want to reduce their consumption of steel and repair a totaled car rather than replace it. People who have had an uninsured accident for which they were at fault often decide that it is actually cheaper to go to a repair shop.


If you are able to drive a car to a repair shop, you can get an estimate for how much the repairs will cost. It could be less money than the cost of buying a new car.


If your car has really been totaled, you are unlikely to be able to do the repairs yourself. If you think you can fix the car to the point where it will be drivable and safe, you may want to consider working on it yourself. Make sure to figure out how much the parts will cost and approximately how long the repair will take.

If your car needs parts, be sure to call us and we will do our best to find you anything you need to make your repair.


Keep the Car and Salvage the Parts

If you know about cars, have some extra time on your hands as well as a place to store your totaled car, you can sell the salvaged parts off individually.  There are some websites that will allow you to do this.

Be sure to take into consideration the cost of advertising and the time it would take to sell each part of the car. It is unlikely that you will be able to sell every single salvageable part of the car and the majority of it could end up in a junkyard.


The type of car you have is often a factor in the feasibility of selling its individual parts. If you have a very popular car, there should be a lot of people who need individual parts for it. If you have a rare or classic car, the parts will most likely take a long time to sell, but you can eventually be able to get a good price for them.


Trading a Totaled Car

You may also be able to trade a totaled car. If you are in the market for a new car, an automobile dealer will usually offer you a certain amount of money for a trade-in. However, they are unlikely to give you the amount of money the car is really worth. Sometimes they will over pay you for the totaled car and then overcharge you for the new car to make you think you are getting a good deal.

If you are a good negotiator, you can probably get them to reduce the price of the vehicle by the same amount of money that you would be able to get for a trade-in.

It is always a good idea to give us a call before you take a trade-in discount at an auto dealer. We will offer you a good price for your totaled car and we will pay you in cash. Let the salesman at the dealership reduce the cost of your new car for some other reason.



If you have bad credit, fear not. We can connect you to a lot where you can get a fabulous fully refurbished car that you will love.

Sell The Car to Us

If you want to get a great price for your totaled car, get it off your property fast, and avoid the hassle of repairs and insurance companies, you should sell it to us. We are a licensed scrap metal dealer in the state of Illinois. Once you place your initial phone call, your car will be off your property and your money will be in your hand within roughly 48 hours.


There are just three simple steps to doing business with us.


  1. Give us a call and answer a few questions or fill out our form online. We will need to know the make, model and year of your car. You will have to provide the odometer mileage and the vin number. We will also need your name, phone number, email address and the state in which you live.
  2. We will then tell you how much we can pay you for your car. We are primarily interested in cars that were manufactured between 2000 and 2018. We will then schedule an appointment with you to pick up your car. If our offer is unacceptable to you, you are not obligated to do business with us.
  3. One of our friendly trained staff members will come by and perform a quick inspection of your car, just to make sure we have all of the information we need. We will then pay you and tow your car away. It is just that easy.

We are a trustworthy and ethical business that is committed to giving you the best deal and the fastest service. Our team is comprised of car enthusiasts and experts who know much about automobiles and their value. Give us a call or click below today.