Totaled Car, Now What? – How to Get Cash for Damaged Cars

This is a detailed outline of what happens when an insurance company declares your car a total loss, how much you can get paid in settlement, how the insurance company calculates the payout, and how to make the best out of a totaled car.

Get an Online Offer from a Junk Yard Near you

Fair Prices

Fair-Market Prices For Your Totaled Cars

FREE Towing

Fast Pick-Up In Under 48 Business Hours

Great Service

Quick, Easy And Hassle-Free!

What Happens When Insurance Totals Your Car?

When an insurance company totals your car, it takes it from you and pays you the vehicle’s worth at the time of the accident. A good insurance company will add to this amount, sales tax, vehicle registration and title for a replacement car.

You, however, need to ask the company about these additional payments within 30 days of getting a replacement car. You also reserve the keep your totaled car and get paid less than its actual cash value as explained in the following section.

How is Insurance Payout For a Totaled Car Calculated?

Most insurance companies cover vehicles using actual cash value. In simpler terms, an insurance company covers your car for its value at the time of loss.

That is what an insurer is supposed to pay you once they total your car. There can be changes to this amount if you had additional coverage like gap insurance (we will look into this later).

It is not that easy to accurately estimate the actual cash value of a wrecked car. To close in on the exact value, insurance companies use a number of factors to determine what to pay you.

Some of these include physical wear and tear, mileage, model, make and year. Newer cars will obviously fetch more than an old model. If you had installed cool features or new parts on your car, its actual cash value could also go up. Insurers also use their own software to calculate how much they should pay in actual cash value.

Totaled Car Insurance Payout

While checking the Kelley Blue Book might give you a rough estimate of what the insurance company will offer you, you may be surprised that they almost always propose a lower amount than you would expect based on Kelley Blue Book.

If you think what the insurance is offering to pay you like the actual cash value is not fair, you can ask them to let you keep the totaled car and get paid retention value. To calculate retention value, the insurer will subtract the car’s salvage value from its actual cash value.

You will then be able to places that will buy your totaled car for more than just its salvage value.

What to Do If Your Car is Considered Total Loss

Gap insurance covers the gap between your totaled car’s actual cash value and the amount you paid in the first place. In other words, it covers the depreciation of your car from the date you insured it to the time of loss.

Gap insurance is good only if your car is the kind that depreciates quickly.

How to Sell Your Car With

If you chose to keep your car after it was declared totaled, you made the right decision. You can sell the totaled car to for truer market value.

We first recommend checking how much the car is worth using our instant online car value estimator. It will take less than 90 seconds to do so. We will then give you an offer, wait for you to accept it, provide proof of ownership of the vehicle and then in less than 24-48 hours, we will come and tow your totaled car for free and pay you on the spot.

We provide the fastest and easiest ways to buy totaled cars from clients like you all over the nation. Our expertise in totaled car evaluation has kept us on top as the highest rated totaled car buyers in the industry.

It’s a Quick and Easy Process


Vehicle Details

Answer a few quick questions and provide a picture if you can.



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



Accept the offer if you’re happy with it.


Get Paid

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

Get An Offer Online

What Is Your Totaled Car Worth?

Cash for Totaled Cars