When you get into a car accident, your insurance company assesses the damage and decides whether it is worth it to repair the vehicle. If the damage is more expensive than the value of the car, then the insurance company will usually total the vehicle. This doesn’t mean you have to replace the car, though.
A salvaged car is another name for a vehicle that has been declared unrepairable by an insurance company. It doesn’t mean you can’t personally decide you want to rebuild the car, though. There are many reasons to rebuild or adopt a salvage vehicle.
Reasons to rebuild a car can range from the nostalgia associated with your car, all the way to avoiding the expense of buying a new car. We’ll also cover the insurance differences between cars that have been salvaged compared to cars that are new.
#1 – It’s Expensive to Buy a New Car
When you get into a car accident in an older car, it’s a harsh reality the vehicle is probably going to be totaled by your insurance company. Cars older than a decade are often going to be valued at less than $10,000, and even a moderate accident can create damage that is close to that value to fix. This creates a difficult financial situation for a lot of people.
The money your insurance company is willing to give you for your totaled car is typically not enough to buy a new car. It might not even be enough to buy a used car unless the used car has hundreds of thousands of miles or many issues to be fixed.
This is when you could think about repairing your salvaged vehicle. You will need to pay out of your own pocket to fix these types of vehicles, but that is sometimes cheaper than making up the difference when purchasing a new car with insurance money.
Talk to a mechanic or an auto shop that you trust and compare prices before settling on who will fix your salvaged car. After the repairs have been made, you can shop around for insurance on your salvaged vehicle. The car needs a different title than it originally had, and this title will state that the car has been repaired or rebuilt.
Salvaged cars are often more expensive to insure than an originally titled car, so you need to prove to your insurer that the vehicle is safe. Your mechanic can help prove this with a thorough inspection of the vehicle.
#2 – Your Original Car Might Have Nostalgic Value
If you are driving a car that is old enough to be salvaged after an accident, it might mean you have owned it for quite some time. When we own a vehicle for years, we often form a personal bond with that car. This can be due to associating positive memories with the car, like getting it right after earning your driver’s license, having your first child, or traveling with your pet.
It could be something as simple as being used to the way your car controls and feels. Every vehicle has its own unique interface on the inside. You know exactly where you want to put things in the trunk of your car. You might like the emergency brake in your vehicle, as this is a feature that varies greatly depending on what model of the car you own.
If you don’t want to say goodbye to these comforts, this is when thinking about repairing your vehicle is possible. You should first see whether there are any other used models of the same car out on the market for a cheaper price than it would cost to repair your vehicle.
Every person is different, and everybody has a different set of financial needs. Think about whether your nostalgia for your car outweighs the potential to get another one. If it does, repairing it is the right thing to do. It’s hard to put a price on the emotional side of buying a car.
#3 – You May Like Repairing Cars With Your Own Hands
You have to find your own method of fixing a totaled car if you want to drive it again. Insurance companies are not going to pay for these repairs because it just doesn’t make sense financially. One of the ways you can repair the car is by doing it yourself. This is obviously only an option if you are an auto expert who has ample knowledge on preventive car maintenance, and enjoys working on cars.
Some people even like buying other people’s totaled cars, fixing them, and then driving them or selling them with a rebuilt title. If this sounds like an exciting process for you, it may be in your best interest to rebuild a car.
Talk to the insurance company about what needs to be repaired so you can be better prepared to make this decision. If you don’t find out the specifics of the repairs needed, there is no way of knowing whether you are capable of fixing the car.
Getting into a car accident is very tough. It is not only emotionally and physically draining, but it creates a whole new set of problems for you financially. Even when insurance companies want to total your car and give you the value of the vehicle, this is often not enough to be a replacement that is sufficient for your life.
Evaluate whether you want to buy a used vehicle, or buy a new one and add money to the value that the insurance company gave you. Often neither of these options is good, and repairing your car is the best option. This will require you to get a rebuilt title for the car, and your insurance might go up slightly when you go shopping for a salvaged car policy.
Finances aren’t the only thing that is important when repairing a car, though. Think about whether you want to repair your car simply because you have so many good memories of this vehicle. Maybe you just can’t picture yourself going down the road in anything else. Cars are personal items, and sometimes you have to get creative to save something you love.
Shawn Laib writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, AutoInsurance.org. He wants to help people decide what steps to take after a car accident.