If you’re planning to buy a used car, you may consider a car with an accident history. Although it is contentious to buy such a car. The seller might unaware of the full extent of the car’s damage condition or the severity of the damage. Without knowing the actual damage history, it can result in unpredictable problems on the road. That’s why used car buyers often refuse to buy cars that have been in an accident before.
At the same time, you can’t overlook the benefits of getting a car with a background history of impairment. You can fix the car anytime. But before proceeding, you need to understand the vehicle that’s been wrecked. In this quick guide, we’ll tell you six things about a car that’s been in an accident.
- Check if the car is totaled after an accident
To check if your car is totaled after an accident, you need to be familiar with its actual cash value and salvage value. A totaled car is one with severe damage whose repairing cost would be higher than the car is worth without any damage.
Generally, cars that have been totaled are taken by an insurance company and they sell them for scrap. But in the event that your vehicle is wrecked in an accident, you can directly sell it online. You need to submit a few details like your VIN and some images of the wrecked car and you’ll get a quote within 90 seconds. Once you accept their offer, a pick-up will be scheduled within 24-48 hours from your location.
Another thing to consider is you better avoid purchasing a totaled car with a salvage title. Such cars are unsafe and prone to more damage.
- Get a vehicle history report
It is essential to get a complete vehicle history report. You can get a handful of information about a used car or wrecked car from the vehicle history report. It includes registration history, ownership details, if the car was in an accident, salvage reports, repair records, etc.
Additionally, you can have an expert inspect the car. You can consult with a licensed mechanic to inspect every component and evaluate the damage condition. They will also assess the quality of the post-accident damage repairing work. In case a professional and skillful mechanic didn’t repair the car’s damage, you may face more issues later.
- Insurance coverage for a wrecked car
If the accidental damage is not very serious, the car can be restored to its original condition before the hit. If the car has the right insurance coverage, the insurance company will pay for the repair (minus any deductible) as well as for a rental car during the repair. Otherwise, you can file a claim to the other driver’s insurance company if the accident was not your fault.
But when a car is totaled from a serious collision, the insurance company will take possession of it and sell it with salvage titles. However, in some cases, it’s possible to purchase back the totaled car from the company.
- You need to pay the balance owed on the car after it is totaled
If your car is totaled, it will be taken by the insurance company and you’ll get the cash value of the car before the accident happened. Most of the time, the amount is enough to replace the totaled car with another car. However, if you still owe money on the car, the insurance company will not pay more than it is worth.
According to most insurance policies, the company uses the Actual Cash Value method to find out the amount they’ll pay for a totaled car. If you owe more than the actual cash value of that car, you will have to pay the remaining balance to the lender by yourself. The insurance company does not take responsibility for that.
- Fix the damaged car in an authorized car repairing center
Generally, all car production companies have authorized car repairing centers for their respective brands. Some of them also may work with your insurance company and restore your damaged car to its pre-accidental condition.
So, if your car has been in an accident, contact the authorized car body shop. They will arrange a tow truck to bring the car to their shop and make a full inspection. Keep in mind that you must know where the car has been taken for fixing. Otherwise, the tow company might take your car to a scrapyard or non-authorized car shop. It could lead you to more financial losses.
- Ensure the car is safe to drive
Until the car that was involved in an accident gets repaired completely, it’s extremely unsafe to drive. A minor fault in a component is sometimes sufficient to compromise your safety. For example, the airbags are a one-time use safety feature and they will not work properly if the car gets into another accident. Moreover, a car damaged by an accident doesn’t hold much resale value. So, it’s not safe to drive a totaled car without replacing the damaged parts.
These are some tips and necessary things to consider about a car that’s been wrecked. Make sure to have a professional inspect the car carefully. You can also contact the insurance company to pay for the repair or replacement. Then you can decide whether to keep the car or sell it.