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Car valued at $5,500 needs $5,100 in repairs

This is a long and sad story, but I was recently involved in a collision and due to circumstances beyond my control I will not be getting any insurance money from anybody to fix my car. It is a 2007 Toyota Yaris with 135,000 miles on it and needs at least $5,100 in repairs plus 4 new tires. Is it worth it to repair the car, or should I invest this money into a newer car with fewer miles?

I would check to see if the car can be made safely driveable with used parts. Some body shops will see what they can do if the customer doesn’t have insurance. Paintwork is particularly expensive. If you can live with some body parts being a different color, you can skip the paintwork. If you could make the car safe and driveable this way for less than $3000, it might be worthwhile for a couple more years use.
Otherwise, I guess you should start looking for a newer car.

I think this is a situation where you just need to get another vehicle. It’s a tossup on whether or not the vehicle will ever be safe to drive again. It’s time to let go of the Yaris.

I wouldn’t want to keep this car, depending on the exact nature of the damage.

Scrap metal prices are pretty high right now. Someone might also want it for parts, so there are ways that you could sell it & have that much extra for a different car.

Ouch! I don’t see much point in repairing the Yaris. Make sure you document this loss so at least you can catch a break on your 2011 Income Tax filing.

If that is the value, take the money and buy an unwrecked one if you like the car.

See if you can find a similar car in a salvage yard with the parts you need. Ask if they have someone or know someone who could do the repair work…There is a whole underground auto-repair world out there…But always remember, you get what you pay for. If the STRUCTURE (frame) has been bent or displaced, better move on…

If moving on would not disrupt your life too much, that may be a good option if the car is not driveable. These cars are fantastically popular right now, so selling it as repairable will still fetch a decent price. If that is not an option, rebodying it with parts from a junkyard will get you a car that is straight again, but may be multicolored. Even looking like that, you could probably get five grand for it due to the high demand for fuel efficient vehicles, especially ones with a Toyota badge on them.

Since insurance is not involved, my vote would be to sell off the car and move on to something else.

It’s unknown just exactly how bad the damage is but 5 grand on an '07 does not sound terribly bad.
You could list it on Craigslist, ask X dollars or best offer, and see what happens. A DIYer who needs mechanical parts may jump all over it.

I’m sure your story is long and sad, but the fact that you are not getting any insurance money to fix your car means one of two things:

You were at fault for the accident, and you don’t have collision coverage on your insurance policy, and you are rightly being denied money to repair your car since you are not entitled to it.

The other scenario is that you were hit by an un-insured vehicle, and you don’t have either collision or uninsured coverage on your insurance policy, and again, you aren’t going to get any money from the non-existent other person’s insurance company. You will have to sue this person to get any money. If you do sue this person, tell the judge that you want the court to either give you the other person’s vehicle in order to make you whole again, or to force the other person to sell their car to give you the money needed to repair your car, since they shouldn’t have a vehicle in the first place.

I can think of other possibilities, but they wouldn’t be very nice sounding, and i don’t want to seem like I’m a meanie.


If you are entitled to money from the other party that was involved in the accident and they didn’t have insurance you need to contact the county attorney and have them get it before a judge. A lady hit my son in one of my cars last year, I contacted the county attorney and they took both the woman who was driving the car and her brother the owner of the car to court and charged them with no insurance as required state law and required them to pay restitution for damages. ($2791.) They were not able to pay the total amount then, but they are required to appear before a judge once a month showing they have insurance on the vehicle and have paid toward the restitution during the past month.