No one likes it when they find out their car is totaled. Not only does this mean you need to find a new mode of transportation, but you need to find the money to do so, and the circumstances that lead to the car being totaled were probably not pleasant either. It’s an experience no one wants to go through, but unfortunately, it can happen to any car owner. If it does happen to you, here is what you should do moving forward.
Make Sure Your Car Is Really Gone
First, you should check to make sure that your car can really not be recovered. Perhaps the auto shop looking at your car made a mistake, or just assumed you would rather total it than pay for repairs. In some instances it may be good to get a second opinion, or to ask the mechanic to explain what the repairs would actually cost. You may find that your car can be saved, and that this would be the cheaper alternative over purchasing another vehicle.
Get What You Can For It
If your car is truly lost, that doesn’t mean you can’t get some value out of it. Totaled cars still retain some value, and you’ll want to get as much of this as you can. Some people choose to donate their cars to places like Kars For Kids, in exchange for a tax credit and some other incentives. Others sell their cars to junk yards, and pocket the cash they receive. Before you make any decisions, find out your total loss car value, and then decide which option is best for you.
See What Insurance Is Giving You
Since your car was likely covered under insurance, you should be getting some money that will cover the damages. You can then put this money towards a new car, as you have given up trying to repair the old one. You should talk to your insurance provider, and find out how much money is coming back your way. This will help you to determine how much of your own money - if any - will need to go towards your new car purchase.
Star Looking For A New Car
With your old car gone, you’re going to need to find a new one. This can sometimes turn into a long process, so you’ll want to start looking as soon as you can. Start your search online - most dealers have their stock available on their websites for you to browse, and since you don’t have a car, it will be hard to get out there often. By searching online you can begin to think about what car you want, and then go to the dealer when you have narrowed it down. You should also be prepared to try and negotiate the price of the car down, and these tips can help you to do that.
Determine What You Can Afford
Once you know what kind of car you want, and what your insurance company will be giving you, you should have a rough idea as to whether or not you can afford it. Keep in mind there are ways to lower your monthly payments, either by extended the term length of a loan, adding more years to a lease, or putting down a larger down payment. Most dealerships are willing to work with you to find a payment plan that is right for you. Your credit score will also play an important role in determining what kind of car you can get, so be sure to keep it in good shape.
Think About What Led To Your Accident
Finally, was there something that you did that led to your car being totaled? Were you distracted while driving, or did you not get enough sleep? Whenever you get into an accident, it’s a good idea to go back over the causes and think about if there was anything you could have done differently. The best way to prevent this from happening again is to learn from your mistakes.
Your car getting totaled is a stressful experience, but if you follow the steps above, you should be able to get through it. Just take it one thing at a time. First figure out what is going on with your old car - such as whether it can be saved, or how much you can get for it - and then move on to finding another vehicle. It’s a stressful time, between being without your car and trying to find a new one, but you’ll get through it if you just go slow.