What’s a totaled car or total loss vehicle?

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5 min read

Owning a car almost always has its ups and downs. One of the most major downers is, of course, accidents, which happen even to the best drivers in the best cars.

After an accident, your insurance company will want to gauge the severity of the damage, whether your car is worth repairing, and if it might now be considered a “total loss.” Let’s explore what that means.

what is a totaled car?

A “totaled car” or “total loss vehicle” is unrepairable, or if it is, the total cost for its repair will be more than the estimated value of the vehicle. However, the criteria for determining totaled cars vary from state to state. For instance, some states consider a vehicle damaged by over 70 percent of its value to be a total loss vehicle.

what are your options?

Whether you have been involved in an accident or your car has simply served its time, no one wants a useless, totaled car sitting around taking up space. Fortunately, all is not lost—here are some options.

let the insurance company have it

Depending on your state and how your insurance company operates, you can ask your insurer to pay you for the total loss vehicle. Depending on the rules and regulations, your insurance company can either replace your totaled car with a comparable one that runs, or offer you a cash payment approximately equivalent to your total loss vehicle.

The risk you take with this option is that you’re basically paying for convenience and often don’t get what your car is worth. You can always challenge your insurer’s offer, but you know how it is with stuff like this—the process is pretty tedious. Additionally, if you still owe a car loan to your lender, that adds a whole other layer of complication.

drive it anyway (be careful!)

In some cases, total loss vehicles are still drivable. Getting comprehensive insurance for a total loss vehicle can definitely be a challenge, and oftentimes driving a car that’s been deemed “totaled” is not exactly enjoyable or safe. We’d say you should not do it, but is it possible sometimes? Yes.

sell that baby

While it is true that not ALL totaled cars can be resold, reselling your total loss vehicle is generally your most viable option. If your car model can be resold after being declared totaled, we’d go ahead and grab the offer with both hands.

Based on over 86,000 reviews on Trustpilot and an A+ rating on BBB, Peddle is one of your best options when it comes to reselling a total loss vehicle. (*Hair toss.) We make it easy and fast for you to get cash for any less-than-good car.

First, you answer about a dozen questions about your vehicle and, bam, you get a for-real, no-pressure cash offer, which you can take your time and think about for seven whole days. If you accept, you’ll create an account, schedule your free pickup, and get your money on the spot.

what is a salvage title?

When a car suffers significant enough damage, the DMV swaps out its regular title for a special “salvage” title, basically to indicate the severity of the condition to any future buyer (which, as you can imagine, typically makes it harder to sell—you know, unless you’re selling to Peddle). Salvage titles also generally reduce a car’s value. Often, a vehicle with a salvage title has been involved in a significant accident, but other types of damage are also possible, like:

  • Hail damage
  • Theft recovery
  • Vandalism
  • Flood damage
  • Non-repairable damages

Cars with salvage titles are extra-hard to sell mostly because getting a car loan and getting the car insured are both hard, plus you have minimal resale options when you buy a car with a salvage title.

and there you have it

In conclusion, friends, a totaled car is one that has been badly damaged and cannot be repaired at a reasonable cost. While some totaled cars are still drivable, it’s not super cool or safe to drive them around. At the point a car is totaled, drivable or not, most people would say disposing of it, if possible, is your best option.

And with Peddle, a totaled car is not a total bummer. We take the hassle out of selling a (very) used car—with real instant offers, flexible free pickup, and fast cash (usually check).

Don't cry because it's over; smile because you're getting a bunch of cash for a car you don't want anymore. Contact us today to get an instant offer.

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Finally retiring old-trusty? Get an offer in minutes-it's easy as pie