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Buying back a totaled car…UPDATE 1: second car accident UPDATE 2: pictures posted Login/Join 
Team Apathy
posted
We (my family and I) we’re involved in a vehicle accident yesterday when someone turned to enter our lane from a perpendicular street. Everybody is fine, no injuries. I am worried they are going to total out the car, which I would prefer not to do. I really like the car and I don’t want to go car shopping in this market.

When a insurance company totals a car, how is the sale price determined should the owner want to buy it back?

At this point we are just waiting for things to start getting processed, but obvious damage that needs replacing to passenger fender and likely both passenger side doors, the front driver side wheel was ripped almost clean off (held on by the upper control arm and brake fluid line), and the front driver side rim shattered. Likely going to have to replace the driver side front fender as well. Driver side rear tire was flat, but perhaps just lost the bead when we speed ramped onto the center curb-height medium.

I hate waiting.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: thumperfbc,
 
Posts: 5606 | Location: Modesto, CA | Registered: January 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Low Profile Member
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you really like the car as it was, not as a wreck. unless you own a body shop, take whatever money you can get a put toward a replacement vehicle
 
Posts: 3323 | Registered: August 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Get my pies
outta the oven!

Picture of PASig
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Even if they can get it back together and running, it will never be the same again once in a serious wreck.

It’s not worth it.


 
Posts: 27988 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: November 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of mcrimm
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Sounds like a huge repair bill. I’d guess you should start shopping.



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Posts: 3267 | Location: Kalispell Montana & Florida’s Emerald Coast for the Winter | Registered: December 24, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Waiting for Hachiko
Picture of Sunset_Va
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Not a good thing to want to do.

I was in a wreck Dec/2020, older vehicle was totaled, probably far worse than yours. (Rolled over 3 times).

The insurance company paid me far more than I figured that old high mileage Sport Trac was worth.

Just my opinion.


美しい犬
 
Posts: 6240 | Location: Near the Metropolis of Tightsqueeze, Va | Registered: February 18, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The thing you need to remember as you go through his process is that you are entitled to be put in the position you were in prior to the accident - no less, and no more. If the at fault driver’s insurance company wants to total it they must pay you what it will cost to replace the car with a comparable one. They can offer whatever they want based on Blue Book, etc. but none of that controls over the real world price. Note that this applies to your negotiations with the other driver’s carrier - your contract with your insurance company may change these rules if you try to negotiate with them.
 
Posts: 639 | Location: Tampa | Registered: July 27, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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While they were not newer cars, I've had two cars totaled and was able to keep both of them at no cost / reduced pay out. Probably much easier for them, making it my problem instead of theirs.


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Posts: 18751 | Location: 18th & Fairfax  | Registered: May 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Plus it will be a “salvage” title if you buy it after it’s totalled. Pink slip will say SALVAGE on it in rather large font and May affect your ability to insure it.
 
Posts: 3771 | Location: Lower Alabama  | Registered: November 23, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of BlackTalonJHP
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From your description it certainly sounds like it has potential. I've seen vehcor rebuild much worse.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmuwwptUeqU
 
Posts: 646 | Location: Texas | Registered: September 18, 2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of bigdeal
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackTalonJHP:
From your description it certainly sounds like it has potential. I've seen vehcor rebuild much worse.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmuwwptUeqU
I watch Vehcor's videos too, but that guy is both in the collision repair business and good at what he does. He also makes money on his YouTube videos which offsets the costs of his builds, so if he goes over on costs he has the ability to make it up in monetization revenue.

The damage on the Op's car appears to be substantial and likely beyond the abilities of most garage mechanics. If it were an older car with minor cosmetic damage that totaled it, which happens all the time, that would be a completely different proposition. In this particular instance, I'd opt to take the insurance companies money and find myself another vehicle.


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Guns are awesome because they shoot solid lead freedom. Every man should have several guns. And several dogs, because a man with a cat is a woman. Kurt Schlichter
 
Posts: 31767 | Location: Orlando, FL | Registered: April 30, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Team Apathy
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I think it’ll be the bodywork that will push the costs over the tipping point… the mechanical side of things doesn’t seem terrible to me… a rim replaced and then rebuild that suspension and drive axel and components. My private mechanic could certainly handle that aspect. But replacing 4ish body panels and potentially painting half the car would likely add up costs quickly.

All this assuming a lack of obvious frame damage, which we’ll just have to wait and see.
 
Posts: 5606 | Location: Modesto, CA | Registered: January 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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They will never fix that car for you, and you can never fix it so that it will drive the way it was. Take the money and buy another car.
 
Posts: 20969 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I Am The Walrus
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I've turned a wrench or two out of necessity.

If I were in this situation, I would take the money and go car shopping.

If I were forced to buy this car back because of finances, I would probably do it the bootleg way. I wouldn't bother repainting the car, I'd get the right body panels from a junk yard and just install them even if it's the wrong color.

However, I'm 99% sure in order to be able to get plates for the car, you have to rebuild it to the point where it will pass inspection to receive a rebuilt title.

My current vehicle is a rebuilt vehicle. It was salvaged when the sun roof was left open and the interior seats, center console and carpet was drenched. At that time, it was quicker and easier for the insurance company to total the car. Saved myself about 20% buying a rebuilt vehicle. I've put nearly 20k miles on it in a little less than 1.5 years. No issues.


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Posts: 11580 | Location: Northeast Florida | Registered: March 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a friend that had two identical Subaru's. One in Ca, and one in Mn. A bear ruined the upholstery in one, a hailstorm ruined the exterior of the other. He bought them both from the insurance company for cheap, put the good interior from the hail damaged car int the one the bear destroyed and wound up with a free, albeit salvaged titled car.
OZ
 
Posts: 87 | Registered: February 18, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
That rug really tied
the room together.
Picture of bubbatime
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Don’t waste your time on that car. Unless you own a body shop, you cannot come ahead here.

A rebuilt title? Can you insure it? Can you register it? When it comes time to sell, you’ll give it away for almost nothing. It will be worthless.

Take the money and get a new car.


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Posts: 6049 | Location: Floriduh | Registered: October 16, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What is the make, model and year of the car? How many miles? Air bag deployment? Is it paid off? There are a lot of factors involved. I would assume most people who buy a totaled car would repair it themselves or have people who can do it cheap.

Insurance companies do what saves them money. If they total it that means it’s worth less than the repair costs. With all the COVID shortages you may not even be able to get parts.

If this is a project car you want to tinker with for fun than I would say go for it. Otherwise if it’s totaled I would move on


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Posts: 4710 | Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA | Registered: February 27, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
In the yahd, not too
fah from the cah
Picture of ryan81986
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As others have said I would not recommend rebuilding the car if it is totaled. It wont be worth the aggravation and will likely cost you more than you get, which is the reason why it gets totaled in the first place, unless you know a really cheap mechanic and body guy.

That being said if you do want to buy it back you can ask the adjuster for a salvage cost for the vehicle, which is an estimate of how much they think they will get for the car when they send it to auction. Sometimes its a couple hundred, sometimes its a few thousand. But they will give you an amount.




 
Posts: 5994 | Location: Just outside of Boston | Registered: March 28, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Nframe
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As others have said, it's not worth it! From personal experience, there may be electrical gremlins and other issues that you will never sort out. As well as getting insurance again.
 
Posts: 2856 | Location: mid S.C. | Registered: March 22, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lawyers, Guns
and Money
Picture of chellim1
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quote:
Originally posted by bigdeal:
The damage on the Op's car appears to be substantial and likely beyond the abilities of most garage mechanics. If it were an older car with minor cosmetic damage that totaled it, which happens all the time, that would be a completely different proposition. In this particular instance, I'd opt to take the insurance companies money and find myself another vehicle.

bigdeal is probably right... unless you can "live with" it or know someone who can do the body work cheap.

My current 4Runner was hail damaged. I bought it that way at an auction and checked into getting the "paintless dent removal". Then I decided I could live with it. Mechanically, it's perfect.

Besides, if I'm going to throw a canoe on top, why worry about some dents?




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Posts: 19737 | Location: St. Louis, MO | Registered: April 03, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Get my pies
outta the oven!

Picture of PASig
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quote:
Originally posted by Nframe:
As others have said, it's not worth it! From personal experience, there may be electrical gremlins and other issues that you will never sort out. As well as getting insurance again.


A trusted mechanic said the same thing, that cars that have been in wrecks and rebuilt often have electrical issues and other weird problems.

I had a Mazda3 that took a good hit, I was collateral damage at a bad t-bone accident where one of the cars hit me and crumpled the front and set off the airbags. State Farm refused to total it and ended up paying out more to repair it than I had paid.

The day I got it back, it was traded in.


 
Posts: 27988 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: November 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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