As sad as it is, the day will come when your car doesn’t run anymore. Maybe you’re involved in a wreck, or maybe it just reaches the end of its life cycle. Either way, it can be painful to see an investment like a car sit around collecting rust. Luckily, you don’t have to accept defeat just because your vehicle is totaled. Here are six things you can do with your totaled vehicle.
Sell the vehicle to a junkyard
If your vehicle has been reduced to scrap metal, you’re in luck. There’s buyer for that. You’ll just need to look for a business that pays cash for junk cars. Auto salvage businesses like Tear-A-Part are licensed to buy, gut, and resale totaled vehicles.
Some junkyard buyers even provide free towing if the vehicle doesn’t run. Research the value of your car and be upfront about its condition. Coming prepared with this information will help you get the best possible price for your car or truck.
Collect money from your insurance company
In the event of a car accident, your insurance provider assesses the damage to your vehicle. Sometimes, the cost to repair the vehicle is more expensive than the vehicle’s blue book value. In this case, the insurance company will “total” the car and pay you its fair market value.
Your insurance company should be fair and prompt with this payment, but it never hurts to do some research to be sure you’re getting exactly what you’re owed.
Repair the car
You might be thinking, “Repair? But my car is totaled.” While repair is usually out of the question for totaled vehicles, there are some exceptions. If parts of your car are only minorly damaged, you can take them to a shop or repair them yourself. Drivers and mechanics are always on the hunt for cheap auto parts. Additionally, it may be worth it emotionally to repair a totaled vehicle. If you still have misty eyes about family road trips whenever you look at your car, consider repairing it as a gift to yourself.
Exchange the totaled car
If you’re looking for a replacement vehicle while you offload your totaled one, research salvage yards that do exchanges. They’ll take your busted wagon and subtract the price from a working car. You just pay the difference. You kill two birds with one stone, and you’re back on the road the same day.
Keep the car for parts
Like the repair tip above, you can keep undamaged or mildly damaged parts from your car for later use. Dashboards, engines, and catalytic converters are always in high demand. Sell them to someone else, or keep them for yourself if you get a similar model next time.
Donate the car
Another option is to donate the car to a good cause. Your totaled vehicle might be suitable as a cautionary tale for other drivers or a practice tool for aspiring mechanics. Should you do this, you’ll enjoy free towing and a write-off on your taxes.
Totaling a car is a stressful life event and one we’ll likely all experience at some point. But just because a car is useless to you doesn’t mean it’s useless to everyone. With a bit of research, you can turn your junk car into gold bars.