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Almost totaled -- what to do when cost of repairs are just shy of car value

A friend was driving my car (2008 honda fit) and was hit by a teenager (who thankfully has taken responsibility). The repairs, we just found out, total $8,400 (damage to the front end and major damage to the axle). The car is worth (per Kelly’s blue book) 9,000 for trade in or 10,500 for private sale. I’m inclined to fix it but am concerned that there may be additional problems with it after these repairs and I would be stuck with those costs because they may not be easily traceable back to the accident?

Also, does this accident affect future resale value if I did want to trade it in at some point in the future?

Should I have it repaired or take the cash and find another car?

Take the cash-Kevin

Who is paying? The kid or their insurance? If you can get $8400 and keep the car. Sell the car for what you can get and buy you a new to you car. If it an insurance company get all you can get. Don’t fix it.

No way would I fix it. Take the money and sell it as a repairable and buy a new car. For heaven’s sake. Honda has .09% right now. Why put up with the hassle and clearly there will be other problems unforseen like the transmission. Plus it will never feel right and will it affect resale value? Of course, like 25-50%.

go to and find the value there. NADA tends to be more accurate and I dont know of a single insurance company that uses KBB

Hidden damage will be paid by the kids carrier as long as its related. Its not the hassle you think it is or what it used to be.

MEC,you sure about that? My wifes work car almost got totaled by an ambulance(sitting) and the ambulances insurance wouldnt pay for it,to make a long story short we had 2 claims this year total of around 4K and our carrier dropped us(no priors either as far as I know) the Rescue Squad claimed immunity from having to reimburse usas far as I know wasnt the wifes fault,she does Home Health and called the rescue squad for an ailing Patient-Kevin


Not everyone can qualify for Honda’s 0.9% APR deal, so that might or might not factor into this decision.


There are many factors to consider, but if the car is properly repaired, its repair history shouldn’t hurt the resale value unless the buyer looks at the repair history and tries to use it as a bargaining point.

The problem you face is that the person who is liable for the accident only owes you the lesser of the two values (value vs. repair cost), so if you decide not to repair the vehicle, you will take the hit between what it is worth and the repair cost. If you use the private resale value to calculate the difference, it ends up being $2,100!.

That extra $2,100 I’d have to eat would make me opt to get it fixed, but then I am cheaper than most. However, I’d be darn sure the shop that fixes the car doesn’t miss anything. Make sure a good shop does the repairs, and make sure you have it thoroughly checked out afterwards.

how bad was the hit to the front if the struts our out of alenment i think i would take the money