Checklist For Selling Your Vehicle

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Getting in a car accident can be overwhelming. You or someone else may be injured, and now you face all of the technical aspects of the “clean up,” from dealing with your insurance company to handling any medical bills to selling your car. 

Even if your accident wasn’t severe, your insurance company may decide your car is “totaled,” an insurance term meaning that the cost of repairs to your car is too high relative to its value, which means your insurer believes it is no longer worth completing the repairs. This ratio varies between different insurance companies, but generally if repair costs reach 70 percent of the value of your car, it’s probably totaled. So what can you do? Your best bet is to sell your car for cash. 

Selling your car doesn’t have to add to your post-accident stress. Read on for a step-by-step checklist on how to sell your damaged vehicle for cash. If you don’t have insurance, you can skip to step three!

Step One: File A Claim

When you file a claim with your insurance company, they’ll assess how much it should cost to repair as well as how much your car is worth. By comparing these values, they’ll be able to tell you if your car is worth being repaired. If it is, that’s great! After you reach your deductible, your insurance company will take over and cover the remaining repair costs. 

However, if the damage is too close to or exceeds the value of the car, it will be declared “totaled,” which means your insurance company thinks the car’s damages are too costly to be worth repairing. In this case, your insurance company will likely make an offer to purchase your car from you. 

Step Two: Offer to Buy Your Car Back

Rather than selling your car to your insurance company, you should make a request to buy your car back from them. When your insurance company declares your car totaled, they will typically send you a check for the cash value of your car, minus a deduction in the amount of your deductible. This is referred to in the insurance industry as “making you whole.” 

However, if you choose to buy your car back from your insurance company, you will instead receive a check for the value of your car minus the amount the company believed they’d make by selling it in its totaled condition at auction, as well as the amount of your deductible. Though you’ll receive less money up-front from your insurance company this way, you’ll receive your car back along with its title. 

The title will typically be salvage branded, meaning the car may be sold for the purpose of rebuilding or breaking down to recycle. This permanently remains on the car’s title history. Having the title for your car back will allow you to sell it at a profit.

Step Three: Shop Around for Quotes

Now that you have the check from your insurance company and your vehicle’s title, the next step consists of shopping for quotes for your car. This is the time to do your research and be discerning — not all quotes are equal. 

Car dealerships may accept your car as a trade-in toward a newer vehicle, but often for a very low price. Selling your car to a scrapyard may earn you a few hundred dollars for the usable metal in your car at most, even if the salvaged components within will be resold for much more. Some might even charge you fees to tow your vehicle, cutting into your potential profits.

Your best option is to go online to compare offers for your vehicle. Getting a quote from an online junk car buyer, such as CarBrain, can help you learn how much your car is really worth, and how to make the most profitable decision.

Step Four: Make the Sale

After you’ve really done your research and found a quote that makes you happy, it’s time to sell your car! Make sure the price of towing is included for free in your offer, especially if the car is no longer drivable. After you’ve done that, you can sign over your title and accept payment for your vehicle. 

Signing over the title properly is crucial. If you fail to do so, you may be held legally or financially responsible down the road. It’s a good idea to avoid doing business with companies that don’t ask you to sign your car title when it’s legally required to complete a sale. 

Congratulations, you’ve sold your car! The time following an accident may be stressful, but selling your car doesn’t have to be.

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