I Wrecked My Car, Now What?

Wrecking a car is something no one wants to experience, but causing the wreck and only carrying liability insurance coverage is definitely one of the worst types of accidents a person can have. Luckily, you won’t be responsible for paying for the damage to the other person’s vehicle, but if the damage to your own car is too costly to repair, you’re left with the dilemma of what to do with your car.

What to Do with a Wrecked Car

The worst has already happened; you’ve caused an accident and wrecked your car with only liability coverage. Now it’s time to figure out what to do with it since your auto insurance won’t cover the damage. Here are a few options to consider:

1. Part It Out

One option that you have as the vehicle owner is to “part it out” or dismantle the vehicle sell it for parts. Even though the body of your car may be wrecked, there are still working parts that an experienced person could take advantage of (battery, engine, transmission, exhaust system, seats, etc.). Many mechanics and car junkies love to piece cars together at their leisure and would be willing to buy the parts instead of the whole thing.

2. Sell It to a Junkyard

If you don’t feel experienced enough to part out your car, you could try selling the whole thing to a junkyard. Junkyards are always in need of cars and are willing to part them out to individuals who come looking for parts. Unfortunately, junkyards typically don’t pay a whole lot for cars. You might get lucky if you receive $200 for your car. Keep this in mind as you decide what you want to do.

3. Donate It to Charity

Another option that you have as the vehicle’s owner is donate your car to a charity. Many organizations offer services like fixing up cars and giving them to needy families. If your car is in good enough shape, the organization might fix the car up and give it away. If it’s not, it might be parted out to restore other cars.

The good news with taking this route is that you could receive a sizable tax deduction if you donate vehicle parts or the whole car. Of course, you’d need to keep your receipt to claim the deduction.

Are There Any Other Options?

While most of your options would be exhausted above, there are a few other things you could try to redeem the fact that you didn’t have comprehensive and collision auto insurance for your car before causing an accident:

  • Sell it “as is”: Many people are willing to purchase vehicles in an “as is” state. This is an option you might consider if you have valuable parts on the car (i.e. expensive wheels and tires or audio system) and want to get something for the vehicle without parting it out. You’d be surprised by how much someone would pay for your “as is” vehicle knowing that they could pull some valuable pieces off and maybe even part it out on their own.
  • Take out a loan and fix the car: This is probably not an option many would consider, but if you’re dedicated to keeping your car and know that it would be cheaper to take out a personal loan and get the repairs fixed than buy a new car then it could be worth a try.

It’s no secret that collision and comprehensive coverage are more expensive that liability, but it still doesn’t hurt to upgrade to full coverage, especially if you’re a not-so-great driver. This way, your liability policy doesn’t have to be the reason that you have a car one day and a bus pass the next.