Insurance is towing my vehicle to a Copart 110 miles away. Is she ever coming back? Should I ask to take her to a local body shop first instead?

2009 Toyota Corolla with 115K miles, in good condition minus a few scratches here and there. I am the only owner and I lover her dearly. Also I don’t make a lot of money and was hoping this car would last a long time. I’m not sure if I can afford another reliable car in today’s market.

My neighbor hit my parked car and his insurance is taking full responsibility. They want to tow it 110 miles away to a Copart - does this mean they think it will be a total loss? There is only one body shop here in town, I live in a somewhat rural place, but maybe it’s just not Geico approved or something?

Should I try to get it taken to a repair shop first? They said they would choose a repair shop that is certified by Geico, but it’s a Copart which I’m pretty sure is a salvage yard not a repair shop. Does this matter?

She still runs, but the back driver’s side door won’t open, the trunk is smashed with a big gap leaving it exposed, and the left blinker sounds like it’s going double time when I use it. And lots of scratches along the passenger side and hood due to it being pushed into tree branches during the collision. Also obviously can’t open the fuel door.

Any advice at all would be appreciated. I’m very new to all this.

For example I didn’t know I’d have to clean out my car first.
When I asked the first insurance rep I spoke to if I needed to take my stuff out of the car he said “only if it’s something you really need now”. The second insurance rep said clean it out completely and remove the plates. I had a lot of camping gear and emergency stuff in case of evacuations (I live in a very fire prone area) and would have lost hundreds of dollars of equipment if this second rep hadn’t warned me to take out everything.

In summary, is there much of a chance of her not being a total loss? Is there anything I can do to make sure I am compensated as much as possible? Thanks for any advice you all can offer.

you can choose any autobody repair shop you want. you do not have to use a shop the other insurance chooses. I would not. choose your own. you do not even have to use a gieco approved shop either. but with a Gieco shop the work is guaranteed if you have a problem with the work they did in the future.


why would you choose your own shop vs. the Copart they chose? i don’t know anything about the local body shop here so I just said okay, but I’d appreciate any advice you might have.

No it has already lasted a long time. That old and that kind of damage, it’s a goner. Did you get all your stuff out of it? You should have access to do that.

Now concentrate on the settlement. They either have provide a similar car in similar condition or pay you what you have to have to buy same. Most people try to upgrade a little though in the process but they have no obligation to do that. Start checking what cars are available and at what cost to be ready to argue. Your agent might be helpful to you in working a deal out.

It usually doesn’t take long to forget the old car once you have a replacement. Been there.

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I agree with bing that it is probably totaled. Sorry. but to answer your question. their insurance company is going to look out for their customer and the cheapest amount they can spend to fix it. In the future use your insurance recommended repair shop, or a reliable shop that you might know. I have no experience with Copart.

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ah, thanks for your input bing.

i did clean her out completely today. definitely shed a few tears. we’ve been across the country many a time together. she’s a good girl.

i did put together a long list of cars for sale within 100miles of the same make, model, year and approximate mileage just in case i want to argue the estimate they give. if it comes to that.

That would be my guess.
Copart doesn’t fix cars, Copart sells used, wholesale and repairable vehicles in weekly and bi-weekly online auctions to buyers ranging from consumers to automotive businesses around the world.

You’ll never see it again


since copart is a salvage and not a repair shop, i guess i thought it wouldn’t change the estimate since the adjuster is going to go there and do it, not the salvage yard.

also she hasn’t been towed yet, so i could still call back and ask to use a body shop instead.

i just don’t understand why i should do so - how could it help?

The insurance company will decide if the vehicle is totaled.

However, you do have the opportunity to retain salvage of the vehicle if you wish to keep it.

How this works is, the insurance company will arrive at a settlement for your damages.

If you tell them you wish to retain salvage of the vehicle, they will then deduct from the settlement the salvage value of the vehicle.

So you still get a payment but get to keep the vehicle.

However, you are now responsible for the cost of repairing the vehicle.

Here’s what’s considered a totaled vehicle by state.


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I should add that the ones i’ve found nearby are selling for stupid high amounts. i don’t know how this will affect their determination but the very lowest one i could find within 150miles was $6700 and it had like 20K more miles. Everything else is like $9-12K which seems super high to me. Most of those also had more miles, some with 4-5 owners and previous accidents too.

Is the market just that crazy right now? to be fair, these were S and LE models while mine is Base model, but i couldn’t find any base models for sale within 150miles.

Yes it is and why are you not asking the insurance company questions . Just from the pictures I would say it is totaled . I also say for get about trying to keep it because unseen damage will end up costing you more then the insurance payment .

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what do you mean why am i not asking the insurance questions?

I did ask the insurance rep if it will be totalled and of course they don’t seem to have the answer, they just say the adjuster has to look at it first. it’s not at a shop its just at my house where the accident occurred. it hasn’t even been towed yet, they said they’d come get it between today and tuesday.

they said they would tow it to Copart unless i wanted it towed somewhere else, but they couldn’t advise me on that because it’s my decision. i just don’t have the experience to know where to tow it or why it would be helpful to choose anything other than their default.

also thanks for the advice about the hidden damage, that’s a good point.

thank you so much this is helpful.

I think what is hard for the people here to understand is that the Copart facilities we are familar with don’t do insurance repair work . They buy and resell damaged and totaled vehicles. I think when the adjuster arrives you will be able to get a clearer picture of your options . It sounds like the insurance rep is not fully aware of the options.

yes i agree. and i didn’t think the Copart would do any of the repair work, i see it is a salvage yard not a repair shop.

i know the adjuster will be doing the estimate. that’s why it was hard for me to understand why it would matter at this point if i chose to have it go to a body shop instead of the Copart they chose. like if it’s repairable, they’ll pay to tow it to a repair shop ( the rep confirmed this). if not, there’s nothing i can do. does that sound right?

Why Copart? The insurance companies have storage space at the Copart auctions so there won’t be excessive storage charges between now and the settlement.

That is inflation. It would cost twice that amount to repair your car.

$9000 for a good used car seems reasonable, $75 for a tank of gasoline is too much.

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Geico usually has the adjuster call you to set up a time to see the vehicle. being the vehicle is at your house, he will come to your house to look at the vehicle. unless it is towed from the scene of the accident to a shop that the vehicle owner wants, then he will go there. my vehicle was at my house and the adjuster came there.


that makes sense, thanks.

and wow i thought it wouldn’t take near that much to repair, but i am definitely inexperienced with these things…!

the insurance rep told me the adjuster is going asses it at the Copart, and not at my house. they want to tow it there first. maybe because i’m in a rural area and the copart is in a larger town.

Don’t fall in love with an object that can’t love you back, the car is an appliance, no different from your washing machine or refrigerator. It has no feelings.