Salem Auto Body Blog

What to Do with a Totaled Car

Getting into a car accident can be stressful and overwhelming, especially if your insurance totals your vehicle. This happens if the repairs required cost as much as or more than the vehicle itself. You cannot tell if a car is totaled just by looking at it. What looks like minor damage could cost a lot to repair. While saying goodbye to your car isn’t always easy, there are ways to get something out of your totaled vehicle.

1.    Have Insurance Handle It

After an auto accident, the insurer or driver at-fault will let you know the value of your car. If you are not the driver at fault, the insurance of the other driver involved might cover the cost of your vehicle. At this point, the party paying for the damages will write you a check. In doing so, they are purchasing the totaled vehicle.

2.    Keep It and Fix It

If your vehicle is still drivable with the damages, you might consider keeping it and have it fixed yourself. In this case, you don’t have to file a claim at all. Feel free to have the repairs done at your own convenience. This is a good option for those with an older vehicle, where a claim will not get you enough money for another form of transportation.

3.    Keep It and Don’t Fix It

Sometimes, simple damage done to a vehicle can end up totaling it. For example, you may have gotten a scratch which costs minimal to repair, but the paint job to make it look right costs more than the car itself. In this case, you may choose to continue to drive your vehicle without any repairs.

4.    Sell for Salvage

Rather than having the insurance company sell your car for parts, you can choose to do it yourself. While you may not receive as much money back as they would have, for some it’s a hobby.  This is a good option if you like to work on cars and have the time. Salvage yards will also buy your damaged vehicle parts for cash. Be sure to choose a licensed scrap car buyer you can trust.

5.    Donate It

A donation service is another option. If they have an interest in your vehicle, they will come to tow it for free and sell it for parts. This donation qualifies you for a tax deduction.

When it’s time to say goodbye to your vehicle, be sure to do some research beforehand about the pros and cons of each option. Take your time deciding and give Salem Auto Body & Paintworks a call at 503.378.7595 if you have any questions. Get back on the road!