What Can You Do with a Totaled Car?

Everybody who is nearing the age of the legal driving limit can’t wait to get their hands on a license to enjoy a new sense of freedom. However, as we’re all aware, road accidents involving young drivers happen frequently. Because road rules are stringent, driving exams are stricter, and manufacturers build modern cars to a high standard, most accidents only result in minor damages. Unfortunately, more severe accidents may render your car totaled, leaving you to decide what to do next with your useless vehicle.

What Can You Do with a Totaled Car? • Life in a House of Testosterone

Insurance companies tend to deem a car as totaled if the required repairs amount to 70 percent of its value, which is why it’s much easier to total older vehicles than new models. You might think your only option is to accept a payout from the insurance company regardless of what they offer, but there are ways you can salvage your vehicle and make some cash.

Six Ways to Deal with a Totaled Car

Most of us need our cars daily, meaning you may need a quick way to obtain some cash for your totaled vehicle so you can return to the road as soon as possible. Here are your options:

1.  Repair the Vehicle

Even if your insurance company has deemed your car as totaled, it may still be drivable. If your airbags didn’t deploy when you crashed and your transmission and engine sustained no damage, you might be able to drive it locally. However, you must tell your insurance company that you still intend to drive it because you need to obtain a salvage title for totaled cars by law. If you’re keeping your totaled car, the insurance company will deduct the salvage value and give you the remaining cash.

2. Don’t Repair the Vehicle

If you crashed an old car that’s lost a significant amount of its value, even dents and scratched paintwork could result in possible repair work which will be enough to total your car. However, cosmetic damages don’t necessarily make a vehicle less safe to drive, and you might be better off keeping your damaged-yet-roadworthy vehicle if your insurance payout won’t cover the cost of purchasing a replacement car.

3. Salvage the Working Parts

Most insurance companies deal with totaled cars by selling its spare working parts, so you could do this yourself if you fancy making some money. Of course, this isn’t easy for most of us who have little to no mechanical skills, but if you know your way around a vehicle, you could make more money from selling its spare parts and scrap metal than by accepting the insurance payout.

4. Take the Money

The easiest way to deal with a totaled car is to take the money offered by your insurance provider, but be prepared to haggle if you want to receive a fair price. Generally, insurance companies value your car by comparing it to five similar vehicles, eliminating the most and least expensive and working out the average from the remaining three, though this can be problematic. If your insurance company fails to compare your car against an accurate representation, you might not get as much cash as you deserve. There’s no harm in practicing your haggling skills if you think you deserve more money than the insurance company offers.

5. Sell the Car

Of course, it’s not easy to find a private buyer for a totaled car, but many companies will purchase your vehicle regardless of its condition. The best companies can provide a quote within minutes and give you the cash for your totaled car in less than 48 hours. Plus, they’ll pick up your car from your location, meaning you barely need to lift a finger to get real money for the car you thought wasn’t worth anything.

6. Know The Best Option for You

Nobody can tell you the right way to deal with your totaled car – it’s up to you to decide which is the best option for you. If you do some research to find out the real value of your car regardless of its condition, you’ll be able to decide whether to keep your vehicle, salvage its spare parts, sell it to a dedicated company, or let your insurance provider deal with the issue.

2020 Kimberly Signature

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  1. Ooh this is very interesting!! I honestly didn’t know I had options after they deemed a car totaled!! Crazy!!

    • Yup – just because a car is totaled doesn’t mean that’s the end of the line – and your options – as to what to do with the vehicle. I like what Hale posted on the Facebook thread about donating it to your local NPR station … there are a lot of charitable organizations who accept vehicles (whether they are operational or not) as a contribution – and it’s a tax write-off as well!

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