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Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,108
Registered: ‎06-09-2014

Re: Anyone have experience with totaling cars?

My car has been run over before by another idiot in a pickup so I have a feeling the insurance has had enough of fixing my car. I was getting real happy about no car payment.
Honored Contributor
Posts: 41,334
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Anyone have experience with totaling cars?


wrote:
My car has been run over before by another idiot in a pickup so I have a feeling the insurance has had enough of fixing my car. I was getting real happy about no car payment.

 

 

you wont have another car payment if you take what your car is worth according to your insurance company and buy a car for that same price.

 

otherwise, if you really want your car, then ask him how much it will cost you to "buy it back" from them.

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"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." - Albert Einstein
Honored Contributor
Posts: 11,081
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Anyone have experience with totaling cars?

It is a hard decision to make because your car is not very old at all.  But your peace of mind getting in that car for the next few years must be a factor too.   Getting back into monthly payments for years ahead is very sad in some ways but it may be the better choice for reliability and peace.  Not to mention if you keep your repaired car would you get the trade in value down the road to what you may have going for you now.  Find the peace and there is your decision.  I am so sick of looking myself that they are all running together at this point and think maybe my old car is not so old after all.

"Live frugally, but love extravagantly."
Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,910
Registered: ‎05-08-2017

Re: Anyone have experience with totaling cars?

One other thing to consider. If you decide to repair a total loss car,  in most states, you have to re-title the car as a salvage vehicle. That pretty much destroys it's future trade in value

Valued Contributor
Posts: 555
Registered: ‎11-21-2010

Re: Anyone have experience with totaling cars?

[ Edited ]

Back in the early 2000's I worked for a personal injury attorney and it was up to the client as to what they want to do.  If the insurance company totals the car, they should tell you what the salvage amount is.  If they have not, just ask.  Whatever number you settle on, you subtract the "salvage amount" and keep your car and do whatever you want.  The only catch is you will then have a "salvaged title" which is a negative if you ever try to sell it or trade it in.  If you have frame damage I would walk away from it.  Also, have to make sure the repair shop will write on your estimate "cost not to exceed".  Plus the responsible party will not be responsible for a rental once you receive your property damage check.  Be careful, do research on the body shop, they are always wanting to fix your car.  It concerns me that he said the parts are cheap, kind of like dangling a carrot in front of you.  Did they say how long the repair would take?  Always add time to that amount and do not pay until you pick up the car.  The property damage check should not have the shop's name on it!  Hope this helps you make a decision.  Good luck.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,407
Registered: ‎07-07-2010

Re: Anyone have experience with totaling cars?

While I have never had a car accident and have no idea about fixing one, I would think that the car, if repaired, would never really drive the same.  I would take the check from the insurance company and look for a car that was affordable.  Much depends on how much and how far you drive.  

 

I understand now wanting a car payment, but peace of mind is more important to me.  This is a good time to buy a car, because dealers want to get the 2017 cars off of the lot and  it is the end of the month.  Lots of good deals out there.  If you belong to a big box store like Costco, they work with a local dealer and you can possibly get a better price.

The next time that I hear salt and ice together, it better be in a margarita!
Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,048
Registered: ‎03-14-2010

Re: Anyone have experience with totaling cars?

I was driving to work, BAM! some guy hit me as he was coming out of Dunkin Donuts. The front passenger side was smashed. I was thrilled that the insurance company was going to pay for the car to be fixed. It was a newer car and I liked it.

 

Well, my son inherited that car and I got a new one. 

 

I had the car repaired at the car dealer where I bought the car. They only used genuine Toyota parts. And was pleased with the job they did. Fast forward about 3 years. OH MY, the finish on the paint has peeled off and the paint is also peeling in spots. The hood has a big gap on the one side. The hood does open but it is clearly no longer in alignment. The car looks beat. I think what make it look so bad is the paint that is peeling.

 

Who knows why the car looks so bad. Maybe the dealer made mistakes when they painted it. So please consider, that maybe you will be dealing with flaws in the repair job.

That was the first car I had repaired. We have had 5 cars totaled.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,821
Registered: ‎03-14-2010

Re: Anyone have experience with totaling cars?

If he tells you that the parts are cheap, it's because he's probably getting them from the salvage yard.  You're getting a salvaged vehicle with a salvage title.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,513
Registered: ‎10-27-2010

Re: Anyone have experience with totaling cars?

Sometimes you can negotiate with the insurance people and repair a car that they want to total, but it's rarely a good idea. The car may look ok but never be right or safe again. Is that worth it? Why put all those repair costs into a damaged car that isn't worth much, anyway--and that may not even have trade-in value later because of the degree of damage? Be safe and get a new car, for your sake and the safety of others sharing the road with you.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,960
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Anyone have experience with totaling cars?

By the time the bodyshop shop tears down the car, there will probably be unseen damage. Then they will have to file for a supplement for those damages, bringing the cost over a total loss.

 

Did a physical damage appraiser from the body shop look at it? 

An insurance adjuster does an estimate on a computer, not actual teardown.