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Should I Let Insurance Keep My Totaled Car?

Your insurance company has probably declared your car a total loss. That means it won’t pay for the repairs and wants to buy your vehicle in order to salvage it.

How much your insurance company will offer you depends on your deductible and if you have collision coverage. That means it could try to pay you a fraction of what your car is actually worth.

To maximize your totaled car value, don’t let your insurance company keep it. Instead, request to take the accident-damaged vehicle from your insurer and keep it with a salvage title. Then you can move on and consider your next steps.

What To Do With A Car That is Totaled

You may wonder, “Can I trade in a total loss car?” Generally, you should not trade in a totaled car to a dealership, particularly if it’s severely damaged.

Although some dealers may accept salvage vehicles, they may take persuading and severely undercut you. The majority of dealers will turn you away outright. Moreover, it is nearly impossible to find a totaled car dealer so you will be trying to persuade used car dealers to take a useless vehicle.

Instead, you can consider the following options:

  • Selling your totaled car privately.
  • Selling your totaled car for parts.
  • Sell your totaled car to a junkyard.
  • Sell your totaled car to CarBrain.

Out of all these options, selling to CarBrain is the fastest and easiest way to get a guaranteed fair price for your car, truck, van, or SUV.

You can sell your totaled car and get paid in under 48 hours with no fees, no fuss, and no difficulty. Just click on the form to get started.

Black Keyboard with green button Trade-in instead Enter

How To Sell A Totaled Car Privately

card with the inscription sale for the front wiperIf you want to sell your totaled car privately near you, you’ll have to advertise it. This means you need to take clear pictures that demonstrate the current shape of your car from multiple different angles.

Next, you need to prepare listings for your junk car. Advertise that you’re selling your totaled car on a variety of sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.

Once your listings are up, you have to vet people who contact you.

Some callers may not be serious about buying or may want to pay you too little. Others may ask you to hold onto the car until they’re prepared to buy or ask you to make repairs first.

If you do find serious individuals who want to buy your totaled car as-is, you must invite them to see the car. That can take time, and some people may back out of the sale when they see the totaled car in person. It could take several viewings to sell the car.

Even when you have arranged a sale, you and the buyer need to figure out how to transport the car. Arranging a tow will take time.

How to Sell A Totaled Car For Parts

One option is to sell your car part by part. This involves breaking your car up into parts, such as the radiator, the brakes, the muffler, and the engine.

Once you have your car broken up, you can begin to sell it for parts. Like the process for selling your whole car, this involves photographing the parts and making listings on a variety of sites.

Selling a totaled car for parts is a longer and more complicated process than selling a whole car. You have to repeat all the steps listed above for each piece. Additionally, it can take months to sell all the parts you have.

Many people choose to part their car out. They heard that selling each piece individually will net them more money than selling the car as a whole.

However, this is only true if the car parts are in good shape and the owner sells all the parts. If you cannot successfully sell all the parts to your car, you may earn less than if you had sold the car in a single piece.


Our expert evaluators can help you get an accurate estimate for your car's value, FAST!

How To Sell Your Totaled Car To A Junkyard

dollar sign made of car partsIf you just want to get rid of your car and get paid for it, there is another option. You can sell your totaled car to a junkyard in your area.

Many junkyards may only pay by weight, which means they could undervalue your car. You might need to call multiple junkyards to get an offer you like.

Once you do find an offer you like from a junkyard, it’s important to ask about their terms and conditions. When can they take your car? Will they charge you any fees? Will you be required to pay for towing?

It can take several days and phone calls to find a junkyard that will take your car at a price you like and without charging you additional fees.

Luckily, there’s an easier way.

You Can Sell Your Totaled Car To CarBrain

CarBrain buys cars in less-than-perfect condition, no matter what shape they’re in. If you want to get rid of your totaled car fast, we can help you.

To get started, all you have to do is fill out our simple form. We’ll ask you about your location and the current shape of your car.

Once you submit the form, CarBrain will give you a quote in under 90 seconds. We guarantee that we offer fair quotes in line with market rates for your vehicle.

If you like it, you can keep the ball rolling and arrange a pickup. We’ll arrange a FREE tow in under 48 hours from anywhere in the continental United States.

Once the tow is arranged, you just have to wait for the tow truck to arrive. They’ll present you with a check for your car. They’ll take the totaled car. You cash the check. Then you’re done.

If you start the process now, you could have cash in your hands and get rid of your totaled car in just a few days. Why wait? CarBrain is the easy choice.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Trade In A Totaled Car To A Dealership?

Many dealerships would be very reluctant to accept a vehicle with a salvage title. If they do accept it, chances are they'll provide an extremely low trade-in value for the car, since they cannot easily put it back on the lot to sell to someone else.

It might make more sense to sell the vehicle independently and then look for a vehicle after you have sold the car.

How Do I Buy Back My Totaled Car?

Reach out to your insurance company after an accident and tell them you want to keep the vehicle after it's been declared totaled. This isn't possible in every state, but where it is, you and your insurance agent can work out an agreement for keeping the vehicle.

Once you have the check and the title, you can begin shopping around for a buyer for your totaled vehicle.

Can You Sell A Total Loss Car?

Yes, you can sell a totaled car, whether it was in a car crash or it's just older and damaged vehicle.

What Do You Do With A Totaled Car?

You have a few options. You can sell it locally to a private buyer in your area, but depending on where you live, it might be difficult to find an interested buyer.

Another easy option is to use an online service like CarBrain — we'll provide a quote in just 90 seconds with free, fast towing always included!

Is It Worth Keeping A Totaled Car?

In many times, it does make sense to keep the car after it's been declared totaled. This is how it works: normally when an insurance company declares your vehicle totaled, the company cuts you a check for the pre-accident actual cash value of the car, minus your deductible and fees.

However, if you choose to keep the car, they're still obligated to make you whole. In this case, they would still cut the check, but they would also subtract the profit they expected to make from the vehicle selling it at salvage auction.

Once you have the check and the salvage title for the vehicle, you can turn around and use a service like CarBrain to sell it again — possibly for more than the insurance company would have made on it at auction.

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