Posted on: 24 April 2023
Depending on your feelings toward a car, hearing that the insurance company has totaled it might leave you feeling relieved or depressed. Especially if the vehicle was classic, rare, or otherwise unique, you might wonder if you can still take it to an auto collision repair shop so you can put it back on the road. Like many things in life, the answer depends on several factors.
Virtually no automotive collision repair business is interested in repairing a car with a severely damaged frame. Unless you know someone who's extremely skilled with the welding, torching, and fabrication of structural steel and aluminum, the odds that a car with extensive frame damage will ever hit the road again are close to zero. A vehicle with so much damage will have to undergo an intensive state inspection before you can even consider putting it back on the road. In many states, a state police officer or a Department of Transportation official has to certify the repair work.
For most cars with frame damage, returning them to the road is a non-starter. Unless you're looking at something practically irreplaceable like a rare classic, it isn't going to be worth the extreme hassle.
No Frame Damage
Modern cars have so many expensive features now that vehicles without frame damage end up totaled. For example, sensor banks and paint jobs often run the auto collision repair bill well into the thousands of dollars just for damage to a single corner panel. Consequently, there are now many more totaled vehicles that are repairable than there were even a decade ago.
Unsurprisingly, the collision shop will want some assurances from a qualified person that the frame is still in good shape. However, if the car is fixable without too much effort, you might be able to put it back on the road after some collision work.
Insurance Company's Disposition
Whenever an insurer totals a car, they take the legal title for it. In exchange for the insurance payout, you relinquish all further claims on the vehicle. Anyone who wants their totaled car back has to make a deal with their insurer to repurchase it.
On the upside, the car's value dropped like a rock when the insurance company totaled so buying it back shouldn't be too costly. On the downside, many insurers won't insure totaled vehicles after they go back on the road. Also, the repaired car will always have a reconstructed title and major accident history on its record. If you love a repairable but totaled vehicle that much, though, it may be worth the effort.Share