Author Topic: What to do with a crashed car that still runs?  (Read 8567 times)

FIence!

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What to do with a crashed car that still runs?
« on: March 13, 2014, 02:33:22 PM »
My husband was in a car accident, and we don't have collision coverage, so we are now the proud owners of a fucked up coupe. The passenger side door is crushed in, now rusting on the outside, and the electronics on that door no longer work (i.e., can't unlock it or roll down the window). About a foot of the front area under the headlight fell off. The car still runs, and after driving it several times it seems to be perfectly fine mechanically, so the damage is all to the body and door. But it's a coupe with a broken passenger door, so it's essentially a one-person vehicle unless someone wanted to climb in through the driver's side and ignore common sense safety by riding next to an inoperable exit.

We already wanted to get rid of one of our two cars, and we're wondering if anyone has any clever options for what to do. Right now we're of three minds:
1. I see other people driving cars in similar or worse shape (our state has no safety inspections, so you can drive whatever the hell you want here); maybe someone single who is cheap/desperate who doesn't have passengers would actually buy it as a commuter to get to their retail job? The KBB value without all the damage is about 4k, so I was thinking of maybe just throwing it on craigslist for 1k to see if there are any takers.
2. Selling it to a junk yard to part out. I figure they would give us a few hundred tops, but it might be easiest.
3. I have heard of people parting their own cars out to sell pieces on ebay, but that seems like it would take a lot of time. Has anyone here ever done that?



madmax

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Re: What to do with a crashed car that still runs?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2014, 02:38:40 PM »
Can you do the reverse of 2) and buy a new door from the junkyard? That's what I did with my first car after an accident - I drove around proudly with a green door on a golden coupe.

ketchup

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Re: What to do with a crashed car that still runs?
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2014, 02:41:19 PM »
2 is by far the easiest option, and 3 the most difficult ("parting out" a car is way more work than anyone lets on).  I'd say 1 is your best bet, but it might take a bit to find someone willing to bite.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: What to do with a crashed car that still runs?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2014, 02:44:01 PM »
If it's usually just your husband driving it, why not just keep it? Consider the cosmetic damage "anti-theft camouflage".

Khao

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Re: What to do with a crashed car that still runs?
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2014, 02:53:18 PM »
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FIence!

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Re: What to do with a crashed car that still runs?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2014, 03:02:21 PM »
Can you do the reverse of 2) and buy a new door from the junkyard? That's what I did with my first car after an accident - I drove around proudly with a green door on a golden coupe.

I would LOVE to do this, but I guess I wasn't being accurate when I said just the door was damaged. Since it's a two door, the panel next to the door is crunched in along with it so it seems like there would a gap if we put a non-crushed door on.

("parting out" a car is way more work than anyone lets on). 

I was afraid of that...

If it's usually just your husband driving it, why not just keep it? Consider the cosmetic damage "anti-theft camouflage".

That's what we're doing right now (it already looked like he had the FU attitude down at work before when he had to park his regular old and dirty 2002 between a Porsche and a BMW, now it's rusty to boot. Ha! But we fit right in at the Aldi parking lot, so...). We were already wanting to ditch one car because of the insurance. The monthly cost for liability only on that rust bucket is $60. But then again, since we'd be essentially selling it at a loss if you want to think about its non-damaged worth, maybe we really should keep it and just drive it all the way into the ground.

FIence!

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Re: What to do with a crashed car that still runs?
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2014, 03:03:43 PM »
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YASE! We have a winner.

MrCash

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Re: What to do with a crashed car that still runs?
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2014, 03:04:23 PM »
I'm in the same situation with a banged up hood from a deer that jumped out in front of me, but it's not worth repairing.  I'm just going to keep using it as my commuter vehicle.

TreeTired

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Re: What to do with a crashed car that still runs?
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2014, 03:17:13 PM »
We bought a used car (120k miles) for $2000 for son #1 to use.  He used it for 2 years and passed it on to son #2.  Eventually got rear-ended at a stop sign -  nobody was hurt, rear end damage but still driveable.  The other guy's insurance (he did hit my son from behind)  offered us $3000 if they kept the car, and $2500 if we kept the car.  I figured $500 for a running car was worth it, so we took the $2500 and my son drove it for another year then we donated it to charity.   Much to my shock, the charity eventually gave us a receipt for tax purposes of $3200,  which means they improbably sold it at auction for that amount. 

We donated another running car to charity also.  It was too easy - they come by and pick it up.




« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 03:23:47 PM by NC_MJ »

Bookworm

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Re: What to do with a crashed car that still runs?
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2014, 10:38:12 PM »
We are in this exact situation as of Tuesday, unfortunately.  The front end is destroyed and the car definitely can't be driven, but the engine still runs.  We have decided to buy back the salvage and part it out, even though it will mean the car takes up space in our garage for a while, because 1) we have another car identical to it and can use some of the parts ourselves 2) we don't mind the extra work.  There are enough good parts to sell to pay for the salvage, making the rest of the parts we keep basically "free".

I think we need to reevaluate our insurance coverage.  We don't have collision coverage on any of our cars because they're all low in value, but luckily we did have uninsured motorist coverage up to $3,500, and that will probably just about take care of it.  But I got to thinking that maybe we should go ahead and get collision.  Surely it can't cost that much with such old cars.

MattC

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Re: What to do with a crashed car that still runs?
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2014, 11:11:00 PM »
I don't know how bad the damage is, but if it's not horrible, take it to your local low-budget-but-competent auto body shop and see if they will bang on it for an hour or two  to try to get the door operational.  Then touch up the paint to try to inhibit rust and make it look more presentable, or have the shop do this.  Then either keep driving it or craigslist it, depending on what your car needs are.

If that's not an option, and you're serious about dropping a car, then I would just Craigslist it outright.  Let someone else with more time on their hands part it out.  Unless you particularly want that work.

Don't go directly to the junkyard - for very little time invested, you'll do much better on CL.  Anyway, the junkyards check CL too. 

FIence!

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Re: What to do with a crashed car that still runs?
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2014, 06:25:25 AM »
I think we need to reevaluate our insurance coverage.  We don't have collision coverage on any of our cars because they're all low in value, but luckily we did have uninsured motorist coverage up to $3,500, and that will probably just about take care of it.  But I got to thinking that maybe we should go ahead and get collision.  Surely it can't cost that much with such old cars.

I think we may need to evaluate moving to another state and then reevaluating insurance coverage. We're in Michigan, and let me tell you how this accident went down:
Husband slid on a highway exit during one of our recent ice storms. His car was sideways. The monster SUV behind him also slid, plowing into him. The other car essentially "rear ended" him, even though it was actually on the side. Husband got a ticket and two points on his license for "speeding" because, according to the cop, "speeding is when you're driving too fast for the conditions." We get no insurance money from anywhere, because Michigan is "no fault," which means when someone else hits your car, you are the one for is responsible for the damages. Yet we pay more for "liability only" in Michigan than we used to pay for full coverage in our previous state.

Here's an article about our tops in the nation status: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/07/30/michigan-drivers-saddled-with-most-expensive-car-insurance-in-the-country

When you look at the high numbers for MI, then compare them to say, Mass., also keep in mind what the average car is like in both places. It's not for nothing that I say our now-beater will blend in just fine around here. So I don't think that chart really even compares apples to apples, because the median insurance rate doesn't take into account the median car value.

ETA: And I guess this is all a good argument for keeping and driving an already damaged car as long as we live here...
« Last Edit: March 14, 2014, 06:29:24 AM by FIence! »

prodarwin

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Re: What to do with a crashed car that still runs?
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2014, 07:20:57 AM »
+1 to Replace the door.  Possibly the "area under the headlight"  (not sure what you mean by this) also.  With junkyard parts, its mega cheap to do this.  Your car will still function just fine, but look ugly.

What kind of car?