When an insurance company decides whether they will repair a car or write it off they are only looking at two numbers. They look at the cost to repair it and the worth of the car if it was in good condition. Should the cost to repair exceed the value of the car in good condition, the car is declared a total loss and written off. Your insurance company will send you a cheque for the value of the car in good condition, minus any deductibles you may have.
Normally, the written off car is hauled away by the insurance company who will sell it for the scrap metal. However, you can accept a slightly lower payment in return for allowing you to keep the car. This may not seem like the brightest idea, but here are three reasons why you can benefit financially by keeping the written off car and selling it yourself.
1. The used car market is through the roof right now. Cash for Clunkers in America and the earthquake in Japan took a flood of used cars out of the market. This means that the market for used cars is stronger than ever and they are selling at a premium. Even your written off car that wasn’t worth fixing to your insurance company may well be worth fixing to somebody else. You may very easily be able to sell your car and wind up turning a tidy profit from it.
2. Written off cars are not necessarily undriveable. That a car is written off only means that it would cost more to fix than the car is worth. But once the insurance company pays you for the worth of the car you can afford to sell it for a much lower price. Someone who knows how to do the work themselves may be thrilled with the deal, and you can make some extra money.
3. There are people out there who specialize in fixing written off cars. Take advantage of that instant market to get extra money for your car that you can apply towards buying your next one. It’s legal and it’s financially sound.