Car crashes are very common, costing American citizens a massive $871 billion per year. This also means that it’s not that uncommon to total your car either unfortunately, which can be a very distressing experience.
If you’ve got a totaled car, you’re suddenly without a method of transport, and the prospect of having to buy a new vehicle, plus deal with all the related costs, looms large on the horizon.
However, just because you’ve got a car wreck on your hands, it doesn’t mean your car isn’t worth anything. You might be able to salvage the car’s parts, sell it for scrap, and more.
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at what your options are for dealing with a written-off car and making some money into the bargain.
What is a Totaled Car?
Before we move on, it’s worth taking a closer look at what we mean by a totaled car. While the phrase “totaled” is often used to describe any car that’s been very badly damaged in an accident, it actually has a very specific meaning.
When you’re in a car accident and claim on your insurance, the insurance adjusters will take a look at how much the car would cost to repair versus its relative value. If the repairs would cost more than the car is worth (or usually around 80 percent of what the car is worth), then they won’t pay the total cost.
The car is, at this point, a “total loss,” hence the word “totaled.” The insurance company will usually offer to make a cash payment equivalent to your car’s value or replace your car. If you think they’re offering you too little money, you can challenge their decision.
Drive Your Totaled Car
Just because a car has been classed as totaled by your insurer doesn’t mean that it’s not still drivable. For instance, if your car has a very low value and you dent its bodywork, the car could be totaled, but still eminently usable.
If there’s any non-cosmetic damage to your car, you should check with a mechanic before you drive it again to make sure that it is safe.
Donate the Car to a Non-Profit
Someone less fortunate than you might be able to make use of your car, even if it’s totaled. There are a lot of non-profits that will accept cars as donations regardless of their mechanical state.
Depending on the state of the car, the non-profit will either strip the car down for parts, sell it as scrap, or sell it at an auction. The money that they make from doing so will go to help a good cause, and you get the warm feeling of knowing that you’ve done a good deed.
Also, you will be able to write off the value of the car as a tax deduction, as long as you get a receipt from the non-profit.
Sell the Car for Parts
If you have a decent level of mechanical knowledge, stripping your car for parts and selling them can be a decent way to make some money back. Certain parts, such as the catalytic converter, electronics, and seats, can sell for decent amounts.
Other parts, including fenders, bumpers, body panels, and doors, are almost always in demand. This is because these are the parts that are most commonly damaged in small accidents, and people are always looking to replace them. The more popular your car model is, the greater the demand.
Alternatively, you could also keep the totaled car as a source of replacement parts for your next model, as long as you’re getting the exact same car as a replacement.
While this is a decent way to make some money or get a good source of parts, it does require a lot of mechanical know-how, and you’ll also need to know the value of the parts.
Sell Your Car to a Private Buyer
Private buyers will sometimes buy a totaled car if it’s particularly rare or valuable. These cars, as we mentioned, can be a good source of parts, so buyers might be interested in buying it to harvest these components.
However, getting a good price when you sell to a private buyer can be difficult. They’ll likely try to lowball you due to the state of your vehicle, and you need to stand your ground.
To do this, you need to thoroughly research the average price of totaled cars like yours and understand the rarity of certain parts.
Then there’s also the issue of actually finding a buyer. While buyers for totaled cars are out there, they’re quite rare, which means that you can have a hard time finding someone to take it off your hands. Before you do, it’ll just be sitting on your property taking up space.
Sell Your Car to Us
If you want to sell a totaled car fast, we’ll be eager to buy from you. We’ll buy cars in any condition and work with a number of scrapyards to make the exchange easy.
We will pay you in cash, fast. No matter what your make or model, we will buy your car. This means that you can get rid of your car fast and stop it from taking up space on your property.
Two Common Scenarios We Are Asked About Totaled Cars
Scenario 1: You wrecked your car. You don’t have the title. You still owe money on the car, and there is a lien. Can you still sell your totaled car?
In this scenario you will have to work with your insurance company and finance company first before selling the car to anyone because technically you do not own it.
Scenario 2: My car was towed from the scene of an accident. Can I still sell it to a salvage yard?
Yes, you can. We will pick up from tow yards provided that the customer pays for the vehicle, and it has been released by the tow yard first.
We Can Buy Your Totaled Car
If you’re looking to get rid of a totaled car, we can take it off your hands. We serve a wide range of locations and will happily take your car no matter what.
For more information about our process, check out our website. If you have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to get in touch.