What to do after my car is totalled

Totaling a car is something nobody ever wants to do. It can be a heartbreaking moment as you look at your set of wheels sitting at the side of the road, knowing the chances of it ever turning a wheel again are very slim. But, once you’ve got the car off the side of the road and back to a garage, or your driveway, what exactly comes next?

What does it mean to have a ‘totalled’ car?

The term totalled is a phrase more often seen on the other side of the Atlantic than here in old blighty, and can be interchanged with what we’d refer to as a written-off car. Basically, if a car has been ‘totalled’, it means that there is just no economic sense to repair it again because the costs to get it back into a working condition outweigh the actual value of the car itself.

This can be worked out by looking at your car’s age, mileage, condition and its specific make and model before the accident occurred because, naturally, a damaged car is going to have a much lower value than one in a working condition. If, as an example, your car would be sitting at a second hand price of around £1500 before you had your prang, but you’re now looking at a repair bill closer to £2000, you’re unlikely to think of that as a viable option.

Can I sell a totaled car?

Of course you can, just don’t expect the price to be anywhere near that of a car in full working order. It’s also worth noting that it’s likely to take you a lot longer to sell the car than if you were trying to sell a ‘normal’ second-hand car. Rather than just looking for someone who’s after a quick set of wheels, you’re going to need to wait for someone who’s prepared to take the time or pay the cash required to get the car up and running again.

If you do decide to sell it, it’s worth getting a quote for the repairs first, as you can deduct this from the overall value of the car to get an idea of the figure you’re likely to receive for it. However, it’s worth noting that when it comes to damaged cars you should expect some haggling to take place. A buyer is likely to want to spend a lot less than you’re wanting to receive, so be realistic when setting your target price.

Can I repair a totalled car?

That entirely depends on the nature in which it’s been totalled. There are four categories in which a car can be written off into, all dependent on the severity of the damage suffered. Just be aware that in some cases, you cannot repair the car and it must be crushed. All four categories are detailed below:

Category A – Reserved for those that have suffered damage so bad that scrapping is the only option available to you. 

Category B – Much like Category A, Category B cars can never drive again due to the severity of the damage incurred. However, you can salvage some parts from the car to be used elsewhere.

Category S (Structural) – Category S cars are those that have suffered significant damage to the overall structure of the car, such as the chassis or body shell.

Category N (Non-structural) – Very similar to Category S, cars written off into Cat N have suffered severe damage enough to make them uneconomical to repair, but this time there is no damage to the structure, so it’s more likely to be mechanical issues such as electronics or in the engine.

If you have a Cat A or Cat B car then repairing is absolutely not an option to you, but if you have the time, skill, money, equipment and patience, then you certainly can have a crack at repairing a Cat S or N car. Be aware, though, if you don’t have just one of those things, you’re going to find it incredibly difficult, and if you get it wrong, you’re just going to be slicing more and more value off your car’s already diminishing price tag.

Get the best price for a totalled car

If your car is beyond the realms of your own repair, then selling may be the easiest solution. As we mentioned above, selling a broken car is not an easy task, so why not leave it to the professionals? By contacting Scrap Car Comparison, we’ll scour the market for buyers interested in your car, and we’ll provide you with the very best offer open to you. Not only that, but with collection available all across the nation, no matter where you are we’ll be able to come and get the car direct from you, absolutely free of charge.
Rather than going backwards and forwards with potential buyers and possibly waiting weeks or months for a sale to go through, the entire process can be finished in just a matter of days with the money paid directly into your account upon collection. Get started today for the quickest, easiest and best value way to get the very best price for your totalled car.

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