Should You Drive Your Car After a Wreck or Have It Towed?

If you are unlucky enough to be in a car accident, the entire event can seem like a blur. You have to first assess your injuries and the injuries of your passengers, get to safety if needed, and contact authorities. After that, the situation becomes a blur of people that you must deal with and explain the wreck to again and again.

It is understandable to have a lot of anxiety while dealing with the aftermath of your car wreck. You may be shuffled from one person to another as paramedics and law enforcement assess and deal with the situation. All of this commotion can make it hard to think clearly and make reasonable decisions about what to do next.

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How Insurance Companies Decide Whether or Not to Recommend a Vehicle for Collision Repair

Most car accidents result in at least minor damage to your vehicle, but even accidents that seem minor can lead to big auto collision repair bills. Your car insurance company or the insurance agent of the other driver will make a determination as to whether your car will be repaired or totaled. Here’s what that means and how those decisions are made.

What does it mean when a car is “totaled?”

If your car is considered “totaled,” it means that the insurance company does not believe it is cost effective to have the vehicle repaired. Usually, this decision is made by determining the value of the vehicle at the time it was damaged in the auto collision, the estimated cost of repairs to return it to that state, and the value of the car after repairs. If repair costs will exceed the value of the vehicle, either in whole or by a percentage unique to the company, they will likely call it a total loss.

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Is It Worth It to Repair a Wrecked Car?

If you are in a serious accident that causes a significant amount of damage to your vehicle, you might be wondering whether you should repair it or scrap it and buy a new one. In many situations this will be determined by the car insurance company that is paying on the claim. If you are in a situation where an insurance company or driver will not be picking up the tab for your repairs, you have to consider whether it is worth the effort to repair the car or not.

Fair Market Value

If you want to see if it makes financial sense to repair your wrecked car, your first step is to determine the fair market value of the vehicle after all repairs have been made. There are several online tools that will help you do this. You should also get several repair estimates. If the cost of the repairs is significantly more than the market value of the car, it really isn’t a wise investment. On the other hand, if the repairs are the same or less, it would be financially worth it to fix the car.

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How to Know You Have Found a Good Auto Body Repair Shop

One hopes to never have a car accident that will lead to auto body repair, but the fact of the matter is that most people will be in at least one accident in their lifetime. When your turn comes around, you need an auto body repair shop that you can trust. Here’s how to know you’ve found a good one.

Reputation

Before taking your car to any auto body repair shop, you should check out their reputation. All companies now have an internet presence, even if they haven’t actively put themselves out there. Yelp and Google both list businesses with the ability to leave a review, even if that business has not actively entered a listing. It should be a simple matter to find reviews and make your own determinations.

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The Most Expensive Collision Repairs

When you have a car accident, you go through stages of shock. First, you are shocked by the event itself, and you may be shocked by your injuries. The second shock comes when you take your car in to get an estimate. Ouch! Even though your insurance will likely cover the damages, you will still have to pay your deductible. And if repairs are too costly, you could be on your own to repair it if the insurance company wants to total out the vehicle.

In any case, there are some collision damages that are simply expensive to repair. Unfortunately, the most expensive of collision damages are also the most common.

Computer

Depending on where the main computer unit is in your vehicle, it could be damaged in a car crash. The computer control unit of your vehicle makes everything work the way it should. When the computer is damaged, none of the car’s systems can function. Replacing the computer on a vehicle can cost up to $6000, and diagnostics and reprogramming can cost an additional $1000.

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The 3 Most Sought After Cars for Restoration

Every car buff has considered restoring a car at least once in their lifetime. You may have a specific car in mind that you really want to have restored, or you may just like the idea of driving a restored classic car. Either way, these three most sought after cars for restoration can be among the most expensive to restore, but they can also give you years of pleasure and enjoyment.

Oldsmobile 445

This is likely the only Oldsmobile model to ever be popular with the classic or muscle car crowd. This car is one of the cheaper ones to restore, making it more sought after. It’s got a lot of the same features as other muscle cars, but because it was never as popular, it can be cheaper to acquire and restore.

Pontiac GTO

This is often considered the first muscle car. The Pontiac GTO can be an easy car to find, and parts are readily available for full restoration. If you want both the power of a classic muscle car and the beauty of a mid-sized car with a full-sized engine, this is the best car to purchase and restore. Once fully restored, it can be worth quite a bit as well. The models that have “The Judge” on the fender are even more powerful and worth even more money. (more…)

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How to Prepare Your Car for a Long Trip

Getting ready for a long car ride can be stressful enough. To have problems with your car during a long trip can really add to that. The good thing is there are steps you can take to help ease your mind, knowing you prepared your car for the long haul.

Have a Plan

Before you leave for your trip, take the extra step to have a rough idea of where your stops will be and notify someone you trust along the way. This extra step will be of great help if you run into a car emergency and can’t contact someone.

Preparation and Supplies

One of the first things you should do before taking a trip is get your oil changed. If you got your oil changed recently, you can still bring your car in to make sure there aren’t any leaks. While you’re here, you can also have one of us check your brake and power steering fluid. (more…)

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