OK folks. Been posting very sporadically in the last year or so, but I have to tell you all what is going on with my car..
2006 Sonata GLS V6.. 101,000 miles. Mechanically sound, still in great shape.
Back on 11/2, I got rear-ended by a 2011 MB SLK 300.. My car was damaged in the rear, but her car (a 21 year old, mind you, driving that car) was much more damaged than mine. Hers had to be towed away, I drove away with my car after the police stuff..
you could see there was damage to the bottom of the car, the exhaust, the bumper, etc. She was at fault, admitted as much on the police report (she said "it was my fault"). Got her insurance company to assess the damages on the car. They estimated it at approx. $3,100 damage. Took it to a body shop (a good, reputable one that my regular service shop recommended, as they have used this body shop on their own vehicles). Body shop looked at the car on Monday, determined that there was much more significant damage to the back of the car than what the insurance adjuster saw when they did the quick review of the car in my work parking lot. After doing a thorough review of the car and the damage, they estimated approx. $6,400 worth of damage.
Got a call from the other persons insurance adjuster who went to the body shop to review with the shop owner and he actually agreed with the determination. He then tells me that they are considering my car a total loss. OK, from $3,100 repairable damage to $6,400 and a total loss?
Now I'm screwed because I cannot (and I repeat, I CANNOT) afford to buy a new car, I owned this car outright (no car payment) and they will probably only offer me $7,500 to $8,000 for my car at actual cash value of the car. That is not enough to buy a new, comparable car. It would be enough to put a good down payment on another decent used V6, but as I said, I cannot afford a car payment.
It makes no sense to me that they would pay me $8,000 to hand over my car to them (which they would end up salvaging) but they wont pay $6,400 to get it fixed.. My only other option is to take the money, minus the salvage value of the car (which they told me was $2,500, so that would be somewhere between $5,000 - $5,500) and keep the car and try to get the car fixed on my own. The body shop told me to get the offered numbers for the salvage route and then call hem and they will see if they can work with that number.
I am guessing that the body shop can do the repairs for the $5,500 range (and that they are using MSRP dollars with the insurance company). However, from what I have heard, in NJ, an "operable" salvage title requires about 300 hoops to jump through and a final inspection, which costs $200 and I have to drive significantly out of my way to do it (there are only 3 salvage inspections in the entire state).
Of course, there is another option, but I dont know if its possible in NJ.. take the ACV (minus the salvage value) and not get the car repaired (or get it repaired a little bit at a time) and just drive it as-is (keeping in mind, I drove the damaged car for a month before i took it to the body shop, so it's obviously in drivable condition). I am not sure if NJ would even allow it once. It might depend on if the other insurance company reports it as a salvage car in addition to the total loss to the state of NJ.
I won't get any numbers until early next week from the insurance company for either the ACV of the ACV minus the salvage value.. I really don't want to get rid of the car. I like the car. I have it the way I want it, i like the stereo, its comfortable and at the end of the day, I can't afford not to keep it.
I don't really know what input I'm looking for. Maybe which option you think is best, or if you think its OK to go with the salvage title (also keeping in mind, I drive my cars until they die, and i never try to trade them in or sell them privately, so a deep hit on the re-sale value really isnt a worry I have for the car)
Sorry for the rant, just a REALLY bad day today with this information.
On a separate note, I am currently driving a rental (on the other persons insurance company's dime) and its a 4 cylinder 2011 Camry. Have to say, I f*ing HATE that car. I would much much much rather have my 5+ year old Sonata than this newer Camry....