Should You Ditch Your Beater After An Accident?

There are many hard decisions after a car accident, especially if you're at fault and don't have collision coverage. These decisions can become even more challenging if you drive an old beater already on its last legs before the accident. Selling your wrecked car to a junk buyer is often a good decision, but is it the correct one for your situation?

Making this decision requires careful evaluation, especially if your wrecked car is your primary means of transportation. While there's no right or wrong answer, asking yourself these three questions will help you decide if it's time to junk your car and move on.

1. Is the Car Drivable?

The first question is also the simplest: how bad is the damage? If your car only has cosmetic damage, you may be able to continue driving it, even if you don't intend to make repairs. However, distinguishing between cosmetic and structural damage can be challenging on modern unibody cars. In many cases, seemingly minor cosmetic damage hides more severe frame damage.

If you're dealing with anything other than a fender bender, always have a collision shop evaluate your car before assuming it's safe to drive. Any frame or structural damage will make your car unsafe to drive and expensive to maintain. For older, lower-value vehicles, selling what's left to a cash buyer is usually a better option than paying for repairs that exceed the vehicle's potential sales price.

2. Were You Planning to Sell Already?

If you were planning to sell before your accident, there's no reason to change your plans now. However, repairing your car and finding a buyer will severely reduce your potential profits. More importantly, both of these tasks will take a substantial amount of time, leaving you without transportation for little financial gain.

Selling the car as-is to a cash buyer will mean taking a lower offer compared to its pre-accident condition, but it may still be the best financial decision. Unless restoring your vehicle will mean a much higher sales price, you're likely better off making a quick sale to a cash buyer who will immediately put money in your pocket.

3. Can You Afford to Replace Your Car?

Finally, it's important to consider whether you can replace your car. If you need your vehicle to get to and from work or for other essential activities, you'll need to consider the tradeoffs between repairing and making a quick sale. However, if your budget is an issue, it's important to remember that repairing an old, accident-damaged beater can mean pouring more money into an unreliable vehicle.

On the other hand, making a quick cash sale for your wrecked car will provide you with immediate funds to buy a replacement or add to a down payment for a loan. In either case, a cash sale can potentially be a way to replace your daily driver and get back on the road much more quickly.

Contact an unwanted car buyer to learn more.