How to Get the Most Value for Your Totalled Car

Posted On Aug 29 2022


In the aftermath of a car accident, you may be left with a totaled car. While this can be a stressful and emotional experience, there are some silver linings. Namely, you can receive a payout from your insurance company for your totaled car. Of course, you won’t receive the full value of your car – but with some careful planning, you can maximize the amount you do get. In this blog post, Brisbane Car Buyers show you how to get the most value for your totaled car. We’ll cover topics like assessing the damage, researching similar models, and getting an appraisal. We’ll also touch on selling your totaled car to a junkyard or car buying service, as well as selling parts individually. Finally, we’ll give some suggestions on what to do with the money you receive from your insurance company. So if you’re wondering how to make the most of a bad situation, read on for our tips on getting the most value for your totaled car!

Determining the Value of Your Totalled Car.

Assessing the Damage– The first step in determining the value of your totaled car is to assess the damage. This will give you a good idea of how much repairs would cost and how much the car is worth in its current condition. To do this, you’ll need to take it to a mechanic or body shop for an estimate. If the damage is extensive, it’s likely that repairing the car would cost more than it’s worth. In this case, it would be considered a total loss. However, if the damage is minor, you may be able to repair the car and sell it for a profit.

Researching Similar Models– Once you know how much repairs would cost, you can start researching similar models to get an idea of what your car is worth. Look for cars that are the same make, model, and year as yours with similar mileage. Consider both private sales and dealer prices when researching.

Selling Your Totalled Car.

Selling to a Junkyard– If your car is totaled, one option for selling it is to sell it to a junkyard. Junkyards will often pay you based on the weight of the metal in your car. The average price per ton for scrap steel was $92 in 2017, so you can use that as a baseline estimate. To get an accurate estimate, you’ll need to take your car to a junkyard and have it weighed. The benefits of selling your car to a junkyard are that it’s quick and easy – you can usually get rid of your car within 24 hours. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about transferring ownership or dealing with paperwork. The downside is that you won’t get as much money for your car as you would if you sold it privately or through a car buying service (discussed below).

Selling to a Car Buying Service– Another option for selling your totaled car is to sell it to a car buying service. These services will typically offer you more money than a junkyard – sometimes hundreds or even thousands of dollars more. For example, if your car is worth $5,000 at a junkyard, you might be able to get $7,500 from a car buying service. One benefit of selling your car to a buying service is that they will usually pick up your vehicle from wherever it’s located (e.g., your home or office). This can be especially helpful if your car is not drivable because it means you don’t have to tow it yourself. Another benefit is that these services typically handle all the paperwork associated with the sale, so you don’t have to deal with that yourself either. However, one downside is that these services may not be available in all areas – they tend to be concentrated in larger cities at this time. Additionally, some people may prefer working with an individual rather than a large company when selling their belongings (such as their car).

Selling Parts Individually– If you’re comfortable working on cars and are willing to put in some extra effort, selling parts from your totaled car individually can be a good way to make some extra money – potentially even more than what you would get from selling the whole vehicle itself! To do this, first assess which parts of the vehicle are still functional and in good condition – the engine and transmission are usually good candidates (assuming they weren’t damaged in the accident). Next, research how much these parts are worth online using resources like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds’ True Market Value pricing guide; finally, list these parts for sale on sites like Craigslist or eBay Motors. One advantage of selling parts individually is that you can potentially make more money than if you sold the car as a whole. For example, if your car is worth $5,000 at a junkyard and the engine is worth $1,500, you could make $6,500 by selling the engine separately – $1,000 more than what you would’ve made otherwise! Another advantage is that it’s usually relatively quick and easy to list parts for sale online; in contrast, selling an entire car can take significantly longer (e.g., if you’re selling it privately or through a car buying service). However, one downside is that it can be time-consuming to remove the parts from your car and ship them to buyers – especially if you’re not familiar with working on cars. Additionally, some people may prefer the convenience of simply selling their whole car in one transaction.

Using the Money from Your Totalled Car.

Paying off Outstanding Debt- If you have a loan or lease on a car that was totaled, your first priority should be to pay that off. You may still be responsible for making payments on a car that no longer exists, and you don’t want to damage your credit by falling behind. Use the money from your totaled car to pay off the remaining balance of your loan or lease, and then you can move on to other uses for the money.

Investing in a New Car– If you don’t have an outstanding loan or lease on your totaled car, you may be able to use the insurance payout to invest in a new vehicle. This is especially true if your totaled car was older and not worth very much to begin with. Use the money from your insurance payout to put down a down payment on a new car, and then you can finance the rest of the purchase price.

Boosting Your Savings– Even if you don’t need to use the money from your totaled car to pay off debt or buy a new vehicle, it can still be helpful to boost your savings with the extra cash. If you have an emergency fund, use the money from your insurance payout to add to it so that you’re better prepared for unexpected expenses in the future. Or, if you’re saving up for a major purchase like a home or college education, put the money towards that goal. Any way you choose to use it, adding to your savings can give you peace of mind and help you reach your financial goals sooner.


If you’re unfortunate enough to have your car totaled in an accident, there are still some options available to you to get the most value for your car. By assessing the damage, researching similar models, and getting an appraisal, you can get a good idea of how much your car is worth. You can then sell your car to a junkyard, car buying service, or parts individually to get the most money possible. Finally, you can use that money to pay off outstanding debt, invest in a new car, or boost your savings. No matter what you do with the money from your totaled car, be sure to take some time to grieve the loss of your vehicle before moving on.

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