When a car has a lot of damage, it can be hard to decide what to do. Repair shops can do Heavy Damage Repairs, or the car can be sold as salvage or to a damaged car buyer and any money from the insurance company can be used toward buying another car. Taking a few things into consideration may make the decision a little bit easier.
Consider the value of the car and the cost of the repairs. Typically, if a car’s repairs will cost about as much as the car is worth (or a year’s worth of car payments if it isn’t paid off yet), it makes sense to consider getting a different car instead of dealing with Heavy Damage Repairs.
Expected Future Value
After an accident, a car’s value will go down by quite a bit even after it’s been repaired. It can be worth just 70 percent of what it was worth before the accident. This will make a difference if the owner decides to sell it or trade it in at a later date.
Deductible and Costs After Insurance Coverage
Think about the amount of the deductible that will need to be paid, and check to see whether there will be costs over and above those covered by insurance, such as when the other driver is at fault but doesn’t have enough coverage to cover the cost of the repairs. This isn’t as much of a problem if the car owner has underinsured driver coverage, which will pick up at least some of this gap.
Other Associated Costs
Keep in mind that it’s a good idea to make a decision quickly, as most shops charge about $100 per day for storage while they’re waiting for the owner to make a repair decision. Also, find out how long the repair will take and how much a rental car will cost for that time if it isn’t covered by insurance.
Cost of the “New” Car
The cost of a new car may be more than the costs associated with repairing the old one, and buying a different car may mean having car payments that are higher than those of the previous car.