What Factors Are Looked at When Deciding Whether to Total a Car?

If your car was involved in an accident that caused major damage to your car, your car may be totaled. Totaling a car is a term an insurance company uses when they are not going to pay to repair the car, and instead, are going to pay you the cash value of your car. There are a lot of misconceptions out there pertaining to totaling a car and how an insurance company decides whether or not to total a car. Here are the factors that are looked at when deciding whether or not to total a vehicle after an accident. 

Actual Cash Value Versus Cost of Repairs

One of the first things that are looked at when deciding whether to total a car is what the actual cash value of the car was pre-accident and what the cost of repairs are post-accident. Checking the Kelly Blue Book value of your car will give you a good idea as to what the actual cash value of your car was pre-accident. This is not the same as the actual cost to replace your car, which is where many people get confused. In the state of California, if repairs plus the scrap value of your car exceed the actual cash value of your car, your car will be totaled. 

If Your Car Can Be Made Safe Again

Another element that is looked at when deciding whether to total a car or not is whether the car can be made safe again. No amount of repairs can fix certain types of damage, including extensive damage to the structure of the car. This is often why cars that have had their airbags deployed are totaled. It is hard to repair a car after airbags have been deployed and it is unsafe to send them back on the road if the work is not completed. If the car is so damaged that it can not be made safe, your car will be totaled, regardless of the cost of repair or the value of your car. 

State Regulations Require the Car to Be Totaled

The state of California has specific regulations in regards to when a car should be totaled. Many of these regulations have to do with safety and environmental factors. There are specific types of damage that the state will not allow to be fixed on an automobile. If your car sustains this type of damage, the state requires that the vehicle be totaled, instead of being repaired. The insurance company has no choice but to total a car out due to state regulations if this occurs. 

If your car has been involved in a car accident, you need to bring your vehicle to an autobody repair shop, such as us here at Certified Collision Center Auto Body. We can help determine what repairs your car needs and prepare an estimate for an auto insurance company. By law, you are allowed to pick any licensed autobody repair center you want to complete work on your car. Turn to us to help you get your car back to its pre-accident condition. 

Request an Estimate

Please complete the information below and one of our technicians will contact you shortly.

Request a Quote Internal

Fill out the form to request an estimate for your vehicle.

  • Add photos of damage here
  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, png, Max. file size: 256 MB, Max. files: 5.