Owning a car that was totalled in an accident is both good and bad news. The good news is that you are still alive after the accident, but the bad news is that you are probably not going to receive the insurance pay-out you were hoping for. What to do? You could off course sell the wreck to a salvage yard, but how much are you likely to get for it? Read on, and we will tell you how to get the best possible price for your wreck.
Written-off vs. Worthless
If your insurance company tells you they going to “write-off” the wreck, it means that they consider repairing not to be the best options for several reasons. For one, the repair costs may exceed the retail value, or the car could be dangerous to use if it were repaired.
In both cases, the car is worthless to the insurance company, but it might hold significant value to you. For instance, if the car was rear-ended, and chassis damage is evident, the insurers will likely not have it repaired, but the entire front half of the car is perfectly salvageable. The engine, transmission, suspension etc. will be in perfect condition, and these parts alone could fetch more from a reputable wrecking yard than the pay-out the insurance company offered you.
Is it in demand?
There are many ways to define the word “demand”, but in the used car trade, it refers to how popular car, and its parts, is among body shops, car restorers, and the general public. Some cars are inherently more expensive to maintain and repair than others are, which means that salvaged, but usable parts are in high demand.
If you own for instance say, an old 1970’s imported Ford Pinto, you should be glad if you get anything for it, but if on the other hand, you own a classic Ford Mustang, the thing to do would be to browse the internet and local car clubs to gauge the demand for parts. However, you are unlikely to own a classic Mustang, but the point should be clear.
Some cars are in huge demand for their usable parts, and if you have one of those, you should be smiling, but bear in mind that the overall condition of the car will determine the overall value of it.
Wrecker’s yard or Re-seller?
Many wrecking yards like Cash for My Cars pay a flat rate for certain types of cars, but there are many companies that will re-sell the wreck they bought from you. On the face of it, they should not be able to make money that way, but the fact that some re-sellers have been in business for decades should tell you something.
These companies know exactly which cars are in demand for their parts, and in many cases, for their reparability, all of which means that you are far more likely to get a better price than you would have done selling to the nearest salvage yard. Moreover, a reputable reseller will collect the car, do all the required paper work, and pay you on the spot.
Look for a buyer with a fast turnover
Successful salvage yards and wreckers always have a very fast turnover, which means that they are popular sources of reliable, high quality parts to the used car trade and body shops. It also means that they are always looking for new stock, so ask about their turnover when you request a quote from them.
Also be sure to get several quotes from the busiest wrecking yards in your area, since not all establishments offer the same services. Some may collect the car at no charge, while others may levy a small, and sometimes not so small fee.
Never grab the first offer that comes along- there is always a better offer around the corner, so be patient, do some research, and negotiate all aspects of the transaction to make you receive top dollar for your wreck.