What to Do with a Totaled Car: A Guide

When you have a car that has been in an accident that renders it useless or damaged beyond its worth, it is difficult to know what to do with a totaled car. We created this guide to help figure out your options and help guide you in the process of handling a difficult and inconvenient situation.

What is a Totaled Car?

So, you just got in a wreck. It might be bad; it might not be that bad. Hopefully, everyone is fine, and everyone’s cars did what they were supposed to do; protect its passengers. Despite the severity of the crash, your car can still be totaled. To understand what makes a car “totaled,” we first need to look at the totaled car definition.

A totaled car is a term most often used by insurance companies, where it’s also known as a total loss. Insurance companies are held to the total loss threshold by state law. The total loss threshold varies from state-to-state and company-to-company. As a rule-of-thumb, if the cost of repairs for the vehicle exceeds 60-70% of the car’s current market value, it is deemed a total loss.

What Kind of Damage Should You Look for?

Frame damage can be difficult to detect but means certain doom for your car. Frame damage can make a car completely unsafe to drive. It can also cause damage to other parts of the car if driven.

Another thing that is much more obvious to see is a deployed airbag. This may not seem like a big deal but once an airbag goes off, there’s no putting it back. Is a car totaled if your airbags deploy? Well, this depends on many factors. How many airbags went off, the severity of the crash, the amount of damage the airbags did to the interior; all of these can determine whether your car is a total loss.

What Happens When a Car Is Totaled?

The process of what happens when a car is totaled can be confusing and intimidating. First, the insurance company will decide the actual cash value (ACV) of your vehicle. This means the moment before your accident will determine the market value of your car minus any deductibles paid to your insurance company. The car will then be in the possession of your insurance company. They will then sell this car in a salvage yard auction for the most cash they can get to recoup the loss of your insurance payout.

If you owe on the car, the insurance company will pay your lender first and you will be left with whatever money is leftover if there is any. This means that if your insurance payout doesn’t cover your whole car loan, you will still owe that money to your lender.

What If You Don’t Want to Give Your Car to the Insurance Company?

If your car is totaled, can you keep it? The answer to this is yes, but don’t expect any payout from your insurance company. This may not be a problem if the value of your vehicle is relatively low. In this case, it might be better to sell your total loss car for more money than your insurance company would pay. Know your car will be rebranded as a salvage title. This means that your car can never have a clean title again but is still worth some dough if sold to the right buyer. You can read more about selling salvage title cars here!

Why Should You Keep Your Totaled Car?

Although it might seem like more trouble than its worth, there are many benefits to keeping your totaled vehicle.

You Have a Totaled Car and No Insurance

One of the most difficult to navigate situations is if you were in an accident and driving without insurance. This can be a result of not paying for comprehensive or collision insurance, or not paying for insurance at all. In this case, the best thing to do is to get your vehicle back home and find someone to take it off your hands for cash fast. The quicker you can get rid of it, the better. This is because of leaking fluids if you live in an HOA and have a wrecked car in your yard, and any number of other reasons to get your totaled or severely damaged car gone as quick as possible.

Your Car Was Totaled by Hail

Hail damage is a huge moneymaker for insurance companies. They will consider a car a total loss that has sustained noticeable hail damage and then makes a profit on selling your hail-damaged car in a salvage auction. It is usually better to keep a car with hail damage because if insurance companies can profit off your hail-damaged car, so can you.

Comprehensive vs Collision Insurance

Another important distinction is the difference between comprehensive insurance and collision insurance. Many people think they have one, when in fact, they have the other. Comprehensive insurance is not the same as full coverage insurance either. Comprehensive only covers damage to your car from things that you cannot control. Things like hail, natural disasters, falling trees, theft, among several other non-driving related damages.

On the other end of the spectrum is collision insurance. Collision covers, well, collisions. These can be with another vehicle, objects, or a single-car accident that involves rolling over. This distinction can be another reason why you might want to keep your totaled car in case you were paying for the wrong insurance.

So, Who Will Buy Your Totaled Car?

While there are many different places that you can sell your totaled car, CashForCars.com is the best place to get rid of your totaled car for cash! We make it easy, convenient, and fast. You can get rid of your totaled car in 24 hours or less. All it takes is 5 to 10 minutes on the phone with an offer specialist to get a guaranteed quote, set up a time for pickup, and your totaled car will turn into easy money. You can also start by filling out our instant online quote to determine your totaled car value.

With 35 years of car buying experience and over 200 locations in the United States; we are experienced, local, and ready to buy your totaled car for cash!

To read more about making extra cash and getting cash for your car, go here!

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