Accidents happen. At some point, we all end up in a car accident, or our car suffers weather-related damage. Sometimes it’s just a minor fender bender or something hardly noticeable. Other times the damage is severe enough that your car is undrivable, and your last sight of it is leaving on a flatbed truck. In those situations, it’s hard to know if it makes sense to fix your car or not.

How do you know when to fix your car after a car accident?

car accidents, cars, how to

Car Accident Damage | Clark Van Der Beken via Unsplash

In most cases, minor or cosmetic damage is worth fixing. This includes light hail damage, cracked or broken glass, scratches, or dents. It is relatively inexpensive for most of these items. Sometimes a paintless dent removal place can do the job without breaking the paint and make the car look like nothing happened. Other damage like scratches or paint transfer can be fixed at home with products you can find at an auto parts store and some elbow grease. You’d be amazed at how much better your car can look after touching up and buffing the paint.

If you have broken trim or more moderate car damage like broken lights or damaged body panels, those items are usually worth fixing as well. Check your car insurance policy to see what’s covered and get estimates from several body shops. Depending on your deductible, it may make sense to file a claim. However, if the damage is $850 and your deductible is $1,000, it will usually be cheaper to pay for the repairs out of your own pocket, especially if your insurance company would likely raise your rates because of the claim.  

If you drive an older car and the damage from a car accident does not make the car unsafe to drive, you may decide to live with it. Some people aren’t bothered by a few dents or scratches. They won’t fix the damage because they park on the street or feel the blemishes add character.  

How do you know when it’s not worth fixing your car after an accident?

According to TrueCar, if your vehicle sustained any sort of structural damage in a car accident, they strongly recommend replacing it. Cars are designed with crumple zones to deflect or transfer energy from an impact and minimize the likelihood or severity of injuries. This improves your chances of walking away unharmed but means your vehicle will suffer more damage. 

If a vehicle has any structural damage, it can be hard to assess the severity of that damage and repair it. Structural damage is costly to repair, and depending on the value of your vehicle, your insurance company may decide it’s cheaper to total the vehicle.

Other situations where it’s not worth fixing your car include flood or fire damage. If your vehicle was submerged in water for any period of time it will damage its electronics as well as the engine and drivetrain. It will also create mold and mildew in the car’s interior and climate control ducts. A fire can cause many of these same issues even if the car suffered relatively minor damage.

Is it worth fixing damage on a car?

If your vehicle wasn’t totaled after a car accident, it’s a good idea to get the car fixed by a reputable body shop. This is especially true if you plan to sell the car. A clean car with no cosmetic damage will command a higher price at resale time. 

Another scenario is if you are leasing the car and plan to turn it in after the lease. Most lease agreements require the vehicle to be in good condition and free of damage, or you’ll be charged additional fees.

If the car was totaled, meaning the insurance company declared it a loss, it’s probably not worth fixing. Most of the time, insurance companies write off repairing a vehicle if the repair cost exceeds the value of the car. But there are some exceptions:

  • If the car was stolen and later recovered with minimal damage. Insurance companies typically write off vehicles within a few days of being reported stolen. But if the vehicle was recovered in good condition or sustained minor damage, it might be worth buying back.
  • If the car suffered cosmetic damage that was deemed too expensive to fix, but the car is still structurally and mechanically sound. Cars do get totaled for things like hail damage, so it’s worth looking at your options.
  • The car is an older vehicle with little to no retail value, and the damage was minor, or new parts aren’t available to fix the car.

The drawback to repairing a salvaged vehicle is low resale value. A vehicle will be worth significantly less money if it has a branded title that indicates it was salvaged or rebuilt. But even if you don’t care about the car’s value, it may be more trouble than it’s worth keeping it. A totaled car or one that was flooded or suffered structural damage will never be the same as it was. It won’t drive the same or feel the same. While you may want to hang on to the car for sentimental reasons, sometimes it’s just best to move on. 

TECH NEWS RELATED

How to Disable Touch Screen in Windows 10/11

Sometimes, you may find the need to disable the Touch Screen on your Laptop computer. You can find below different methods to disable Touch Screen in Windows 10/11. Disable Touch Screen in Windows 10/11 The Touch Screen feature in Windows 10/11 allows you to open Apps, Files and interact with ...

View more: How to Disable Touch Screen in Windows 10/11

Mitsubishi Aims to Be a RAV4 Prime Competitor With New Outlander PHEV SUV

It looks like the stakes are being raised in the plug-in hybrid SUV world by an unlikely competitor. Mitsubishi now says that its 2023 PHEV Outlander SUV, which will arrive at the end of the year, will have a better EV range, a smarter four-wheel drive, and more class compared ...

View more: Mitsubishi Aims to Be a RAV4 Prime Competitor With New Outlander PHEV SUV

Tesla Cybertruck To 'Serve Briefly As A Boat'?

The Tesla Cybertruck has been in the dark for quite some time, but the latest Tweet from Elon Musk has certainly raised its interest. Being one of the most highly-anticipated EVs awaiting its official launch (which has been delayed several times already), a new detail regarding the Tesla Cybertruck has ...

View more: Tesla Cybertruck To 'Serve Briefly As A Boat'?

Honda Launches Buy Now, Pay In 2023 Offer – For Amaze, City Buyers

Honda ‘Drive in 2022, Pay in 2023’ scheme has been launched in partnership with Kotak Mahindra Prime Limited Image – Yash9w With consumer sentiments soaring during festive season, auto companies boost it further by offering special schemes and discounts. Working on the same lines, Honda Cars India (HCIL) has now ...

View more: Honda Launches Buy Now, Pay In 2023 Offer – For Amaze, City Buyers

SpaceX on track for three launches from three pads in one week

SpaceX is on the cusp of launching three Falcon 9 rockets in a handful of days. Minor issues with two of the three missions, however, have complicated the already hard process of coordinating so many launches at the same time. For many reasons, rocket launches are an inherently difficult ...

View more: SpaceX on track for three launches from three pads in one week

Matter Energy Developing India’s First Liquid-Cooled Electric Motorcycle

The Indian tech startup is expected to unveil the finished product in November, 2022.

View more: Matter Energy Developing India’s First Liquid-Cooled Electric Motorcycle

Replaced my 2012 Fortuner with a 2022 Fortuner 4x4: First impressions

The brakes on the 2020 Fortuner are far better than the 2012 model. BHPian keerti_ck recently shared this with other enthusiasts. Bought the Mighty Fortuner home! Finally, after long PDI’s and couple of sleepless nights, we finally took delivery of the vehicle on Wednesday afternoon. Delivery was done at ...

View more: Replaced my 2012 Fortuner with a 2022 Fortuner 4x4: First impressions

Gear Maker DXR Introduces The Crunck Waterproof Motorcycle Sneaker

These waterproof riding sneakers are equipped with all the essential safety features, and won’t break the bank.

View more: Gear Maker DXR Introduces The Crunck Waterproof Motorcycle Sneaker

Selling Your Car? Here’s How to Transfer Car Ownership in Malaysia at JPJ & Online

Audi Malaysia introduces #ReadyToDrive campaign

All-new 2023 Toyota Vios (D92A) launched in Saudi Arabia with Myvi's 1.3L engine!

Car number change for De Pasquale at Bathurst 1000

Murphy still understanding modern Supercar ahead of Bathurst 1000

Tesla Model Y leads Europe EV sales, plug-ins reach one in five cars sold

Video: Fitting bucket seats into our BMW 3 Series Project Car

9 ways to fix Windows could not automatically detect this network’s proxy settings

Possibly the Oddest Camaro Ever Made

Briggs' Mono supercar on sale in Malaysia and Singapore

Subaru WRX 2023 review: tS Sportswagon long-term | Part 1

Tesla Model Y joins broadest EV hire fleet in Australia first

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News