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Getting over a car

I was wondering how people on this great community get over the loss of a beloved car? I am asking this because I had a recent conversation with a tow truck driver about how on older cars, if they get in accident they get totaled. He was telling me that many times, the car still runs great but due to a little body work like a fender or a panel, the insurance company changes the title to salvage. Then most insurance companies won’t insure the car if it is a salvage title. He continued to tell me that many salvage yards then take these cars and auction them off to people who fix and then sell them. Now to me this leaves the person who originally owned the car in bad shape. I know some people that still miss their car from twenty years ago. This made me wonder if people ever get over the loss of a car or allowing the insurance company to take possession of car. It also makes me wonder if there is a way to track your car by VIN in case you ever want to buy it back and restore it. Any thoughts on this tpic would be appreciated.

It is true that getting a car with a salvage title can be more difficult, versus the same car with a clean title. Not only that, but cars with a salvage title typically must be brought to the dmv . . . or a licensed facility . . . to sign off of the car’s lights, brakes, etc.

I’ve gotten rid of a few cars over the years, and I’m not dying to know what happened to them afterwards.

Just out of curiosity, what’s with all the questions?

Term paper, research project, book, etc. . . . ?

We get another one.

Yeah, insurance companies s***. Go figure. It’s a reality of life.

Mature people get over the loss of a car , but in the short run may feel depressed. Our 1965 Dodge Dart was our first new car and it became my wife’s car after we got another vehicle. The car took us on our honeymoon and brought home both children (babies) home from the hospital.

When it rusted out badly at age 13 it was still reliable and when I took it for its last trip to wrecking yard, my wife cried, understandably so.

She still has many fond memories and photos of it.

Photos… excellent idea! I always took photos of my cars… and my house being built. Then my ex took the photo albums and refused to let me make copies!
I got over that too.

Still missing my 1968 cougar xr7, and my girlfriend Julie, you don’t have to get over it, one foot to the next. Fond remembrances are one thing adjusting to life as it plays itself out in your world another.
Last night I am walking up to walgreens, and some guy asks to borrow my phone cause his gf split and left him there. he called her on my phone, just come and pick me up at the gas station, and hands me back the phone, she is still on, sorry I am the owner of the phone, not who you were talking to, then get an earful of he abuses me and I am tired of it I don’t know what to do etc. I say follow your heart, and you decide what’s best.
My situation the cougar, and Julie, I still love them both dearly but it does not mean I have to live with them.I had to let the cougar go, rotten brake lines, rusted to heck, and needed the engine for my ranchero as I had a wood burning stove for heat, and picked up oak planks, maybe 9x18 fot $10 a load at a place that made utility poles, They had a 2" hole drilled out of the center, never figured that one out as far as the wood goes, Julie another story.

Best way to get over a car is to get another but yeah I still miss my Morris Minor and 59 Pontiac, but didn’t at the time.

I’ve had two cars totaled. The one was done for but the other I bought back from the insurance company and fixed it. All I had to do was take it to the agent for inspection so he could see it had been fixed and it was insured again. Insurance company procedures will vary though.

Thanks for the replies. I ask because I know people that are very depressed over loss of a car. I think when people put so much of themselves in the car, I guess it hard to not hurt. I just wonder at what point do they start to love their new car and stop feeling like they failed the car because they gave it up. I also wonder why it legal for insurance to total a car instead of fixing it

Because if you are a business you don’t make bad decisions on purpose. Surely you realize that there is a point where the repair would exceed the value of the vehicle and it may still have problems.

You can fail your relatives or your friends , failing a vehicle ? Get serious.

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“Totaled” in insurance jargon only means that the cost to repair exceeds a predetermined percentage of the blue book value of the car. What that percentage is is generally controlled by the state insurance commission and/or your state statutes. The insurance company is simply saying that they won’t repair it for the estimated cost. In most states you can have the car repaired if you agree to pay for the cost over and above the policy coverage. The insurance will pay up to the policy limit and you foot the bill for the rest. There is no legal requirement for the insurance company to pay whatever it takes to repair a wrecked car in a standard policy, only to “make you whole”, a legal term which means to compensate you for the value of our loss.

There are, however, nonstandard policies for specialty cars that you can purchase that will do so. They ain’t cheap, but they exists.

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There’s cars that I got rid of 40 years ago that I still agonize a bit over. The agonizing will go to my grave with me…

Insurance companies sxxx…no doubt about it.

My wife has had some serious health issue and will NEVER drive a car again no matter how much she wants to.
I dropped her off the policy as a listed driver; leaving only me.
So what does the insurance company do because of my actions? The usual, raise my rates.

I understand this… to a point. Since I modify most of my cars I “put a lot of myself” in my cars. Sometimes literally - blood, skin ect. I miss past cars at times as the memories of the bad stuff fades while the good stuff remains. I miss my Corvette - but it was really PIA with all the stuff that needed replacement or repair plus it stranded me in rural Ohio once and took all day to get an alternator. I’ve sold them but never had one totaled

But in the end it is just a car.

And the insurance company will have an endless supply of “reasons” for raising your rates when logically they should have been lowered.

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Any chance she was a better risk factor than you :wink:

Never love something that can’t love you back. It’s a machine. Do you regret junking your washing machine and getting a new one?

The insurance company is only required to make you whole (financially) not address your emotional needs/wants. It’s fairly cut and dried calculation- when cost to fix exceeds market value- it’s totaled. If you love it so much you are willing to spend anything to resurrect it, buy it back from them and have at it.


If the insurance company “Totals” your car after an accident you can buy it back and get it fixed yourself. The cost to buy it back is usually the highest salvage bid the insurance company received for the vehicle. I’ve done that. The laws on this will be different in each state.

Great post, but all the cars I miss I sold. I never really got over selling my '79 Supra and I wish I could have kept my 'NC Miata. I think it is quite an exaggeration to say that “due to a little body work like a fender or a panel, the insurance company changes the title to salvage.” Think about it; If the only damage was a little body work or a single panel, why would you be dealing with your insurance company in the first place?

Why, because a little damage can easily exceed the amount of a persons deductible. That is why you have collision coverage.

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When a car gets too old to put any money into it - especially for cosmetic damage…just forget about it. So it doesn’t look perfect. It’s probably not worth putting the money into it.

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It does seem sort of a scam, that salvage title thing. I guess one upside, it keeps the insurance premiums down a little. The insurance company isn’t saying they’ll fix you car no matter what, just that they’ll spend up to the current market value. If the $-cost of the damage is beyond that , they’ll give you a check for the CMV, but in return they take possession of your damaged car. A damaged car like that can be worth quite a bit of money for its parts, which the insurance company understands and is happy to take full advantage of. The extra income to the insurance company from the value of damaged cars it takes possession of probably lowers your premiums a little.

Most insurance companies will sell your damaged car back to you. That’s what several posters here have said anyway. I’m not sure how much they charge tho. It seems like if you are willing to pony up the same as the salvage company offers they would have no reason to refuse to sell it to you.