What Can You Do With a Totaled Car?


If you’ve recently totaled your car, you may feel at a loss. What should you do now? Should you take the insurance payout? Should you attempt to repair the vehicle? On top of any injuries you may have sustained, it can feel like too much to deal with and you’d rather just take the easy option.


It may seem overwhelming, but you do have a few options and should consider each before making a decision.


  1. Take the insurance payout. This the most straightforward option if you have car insurance. Insurance companies have their own formulas for determining the value of a wrecked car, and requirements for claiming a car as totaled vary from state-to-state. But if your insurance company offers you a deal for the car, it may be easiest just to take it.
  2. Keep the car and repair it. Since the threshold for totaled varies so much, you may be able to repair a “totaled” car and drive it again. This may be your best option if the damage is not too great or if you have an older car that won’t get you much from an insurance company. If it is cheaper to get the car in working condition than what you’d get from the insurance company, this is your best bet. A new car would cost you way more money.
  3. Keep the car, but don’t repair it. Huh? You may be thinking we’re crazy — why keep a car but not fix it? This is a good option only in a special circumstance where the car has been deemed “totaled” but is still perfectly drivable. Perhaps there are some scratches that are too expensive to fix or a storm caused a dented hood. The car is still in good shape, but a little worse for the wear. In this case, it’s often not worth putting the insurance payout towards a new vehicle (which you’ll likely have to pay up for anyway), since you’d be better off continuing to drive your car. 
  4. Sell to a Salvage Yard. Selling to a salvage yard, like Junk Car Traders is easy! Just contact us to get a quote and set up a pickup time. One of our trusted tow truck drivers will meet you to exchange the vehicle for a check and you’ll be on your way! This is a great option if the car can’t be repaired and you either don’t have insurance or your insurance is giving you a low offer. 
  5. Sell the parts. Similar to selling the whole car for salvage, you can just sell the parts! If you’ve got a popular car or believe the parts of your car are worth a lot, it may be worth the time to disassemble the car and sell parts individually either to a salvage yard or on Craigslist. However, if you’re not comfortable taking your car apart, this is more trouble than it is worth.
  6. Donate the car. Your last option for getting rid of a totaled car is to donate the car! If the car is still drivable, the non-profit can use it to complete deliveries or transport supplies. If the car can’t be driven, the charity can sell the car to a salvage yard and use the cash to meet their mission. The best part for you is that you’ll be able to write the donation off on your taxes!


When your car has been totaled, you may feel scared and overwhelmed. But take a deep breath, consider the options, and do what makes sense for you. 


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