A totaled car is one that an insurance company has written off on the basis that its value is less than the anticipated repair costs.
If your insurance company has inspected the vehicle and deemed it to be a totaled car, you have a few options. In this guide, we'll show you how to sell that totaled car and get some dollars for your trouble.
Go Through Your Insurance Company
Your insurance company will deal with everything once the car has been in an accident.
When it has been written off, it will be classified as a salvage car and you will receive a payout. Your insurance company may take the car off your hands and leave you with the cash payment, or they may just give you the car. You can also offer to buy it from them.
The next step is to obtain a salvage certificate, which you can acquire from your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
This certificate is a must. Even if you are going to repair and drive/sell the vehicle, you need that salvage certificate and your car will always be classified as a salvage vehicle.
Sell it to a Dealer
Most dealerships will happily purchase a totaled car. You can sell it for cash or use it as a trade in. There is still value in that car, and they may seek to repair it, scrap it, or salvage it.
Once you have that salvage title, the car's market value will plummet and you don't have much room for negotiation. But you should still get a respectable cash offer.
Sell it to Junk Car Buyers
A scrap yard will provide you with a respectable cash offer and a very quick and easy process. It's one of the best ways to sell your totaled car and they take all kinds of vehicles.
Junk cars are sold for their salvage and scrap metal value, which means the junkyard will seek to remove whatever valuable parts they can find before turning the rest into scrap metal.
Again, you won't get a lot of money, even a totaled car has some value thanks to its steel content and the remaining parts.
The final option is to repair the car and make it roadworthy again. The problem with this process is that it will always have a salvage title, insurance companies will charge you more money for future policies, and it will be difficult to sell for a profit.
If you have the skills and you're looking for a new project, it's worth giving it a go, but it's definitely not for everyone.