Total Loss Car Value Calculator – Can I Trade in A Total Loss Car?

Whether it’s something you’re dealing with right now or you have a wrecked car from a while ago, dealing with a totaled car isn’t fun.

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If you’ve been in an accident and need information about the process for totaled cars or a totaled car value, we have it here.

What’s The Value of My Total Loss Car?

It’s important to know what a total loss car is so you can take the right steps forward. Total loss is a term used by insurance companies for claims. Essentially, a total loss car refers to a scenario where the combined costs to repair a vehicle to its pre-accident condition are higher than the actual cash value of the vehicle when the accident happened.. It can be from a collision, fire, theft, flood, vandalism, or any other insurable incident.

It accounts for more than just the physical damage on the vehicle. Factors that can contribute to a total loss include rental car costs, totaled car GAP insurance, and even how much the insurance company can recuperate from the totaled car value at auction.

When Is a Car Considered Total Loss?

The point where a car is considered a total loss varies between insurance companies. For some, the vehicle’s repairs only need to accumulate to 60 percent of the car’s actual cash value before the loss. For other insurance providers, the repair value may be nearly 100 percent before they’ll deem it a total loss.

On average, vehicles with estimated repairs around 70 percent of the actual cash value are toeing the line of being a total loss.

I Have a Totaled Car, Not at Fault. What Now?

If your car is totaled and you aren’t the party responsible for the accident, that’s great! That takes a burden off your shoulders to a certain point, but you still have a bit of a situation to deal with.

Settle up with the insurance company as quickly as you can, pushing to get the best payout possible for your claim. You likely won’t have to pay your insurance deductible and you’ll probably want to buy another vehicle as soon as you can.

The insurance company will take possession of the totaled car once you’ve been paid out.

Can I Keep My Totaled Car

Think your car is repairable, you want to sell it yourself, or you’d like to keep it for parts? Make that clear to your insurance agent as part of the settlement process. In many cases, you can include your totaled car as part of the totaled car insurance payout, reducing the amount of cash you’ll get.

Keep in mind that a financed vehicle isn’t technically yours. You might not have a say in keeping the wreck, no matter how much you’d like to if there’s a lien against it.

Calculate The Value of A Total Loss Car

If your car IS financed, there’s a chance you owe more than the insurance payout. No one wants to find themselves in that scenario. Hopefully, you have GAP insurance.

Guaranteed Asset (or Auto) Protection insurance, or GAP insurance, covers the spread between your loan value and the actual cash value. You might also recognize it as the term ‘negative equity’. And in the car biz, it’s called being ‘upside down’.

If your GAP insurance kicks in, your loan will be paid off and you’ll have a zero balance. The only factor might be that you owe your insurance deductible.

I Totaled My Car, No Insurance…

Aside from physical injuries, it’s the worst-case scenario: a totaled car without insurance. Your vehicle, probably worth thousands of dollars, is not much good to you or anyone else. You could be sued by any other vehicles or people involved, plus you’re left with a vehicle that can’t be driven.

You have only a few ways to proceed with your damaged car. You can repair it, scrap it, or sell it.

  • To repair a totaled car requires a hefty financial investment with no return whatsoever. The good news is that without insurance, the title remains clean when you have it fixed. However, the cost to repair damage will far outweigh that benefit.
  • Scrapping a totaled car is a common route to take. Most vehicles with damage to this extent end up in the scrap yard. It’s the easiest way to go but there’s almost no monetary return for scrapping a car.
  • Selling a totaled car has its own struggles but is often the best way out. All cars have some value, no matter what condition, and you’ll be able to get back at least a portion of what it was once worth.

Selling a totaled car is possible. You’ll need to find the right buyer for your car… but how much should you expect to sell it for? The first step in the process is getting a valuation.

How Much is a Total Loss Car Worth?

Determining your totaled car value certainly isn’t an exact science. Unlike Kelley Blue Book or NADA Guides that offer market values, there’s no such unbiased calculator for damaged vehicles. Here’s a great way to get a ROUGH idea of how to price your totaled car:

  • Used NADA Guides or to find the actual value for your car as if it were undamaged.
  • If your car is a total loss, cut actual value in half.
  • Determine the level of damage on your car from 0 to 100, with 0 being no damage and 100 being a charred shell of a mess.
  • Use the damage level as a percentage of the actual value to get an estimated total loss value.

Typically, a total loss vehicle will be worth 15-30 percent of its actual cash value prior to the loss.

Sell Your Total Loss Car

Your options to sell a total loss car are limited, but you can recoup some of its value by putting in the effort.

Sell Privately

List your car the usual way with Craigslist or a local online classifieds section. It’s a long shot but there might be someone willing to buy your car.

Sell for Salvage Value

You can tow your totaled car to the junkyard and get what it’s worth in scrap metal. It’s not much and you’ll have to pay the tow, but it’s fast at least.

We Buy Totaled Cars!

Sell your totaled vehicle to us! At WeBuyTotaledCars, we’ll give you a fair price for your total loss vehicle and make the process super simple. We’ll give you cash for your car in any condition and pick it up from you at no charge. There’s no obligation to use WeBuyTotaledCars, so request your free offer today.

It’s a Quick and Easy Process


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In less than two minutes, you’ll have a guaranteed offer.



Accept the offer if you’re happy with it.


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Within 24-48 hours, we will tow your car for FREE and pay you on the spot!

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