Rav 4 My car was damaged in an accident

My car was damaged in an accident. It runs but about $3k damage. No collision (too poor). What is the best way to sell it and get another car? Try to get a trade and buy another from a dealer?

Thanks for your advice

Much could depend upon the year, miles, and overall condition of the car. A 15 year old, high miles car won’t be worth very much; either as a private sale or as trade bait at a dealer.
A dealer certainly won’t have much of a desire to take in a damaged car unless it’s on the dirt cheap and he has a plan for it.

I expect you’d get more selling it in a private transaction, between you and the buyer, rather than involving a dealer. There is probably someone who would be happy to take it off your hands, and fix it themselves in their spare time. I used to know a guy who sort of did this for a hobby and made a pretty good amount of money doing it. He had built a big heated enclosed garage out back in his pear orchard just for doing this. He’d buy wrecked cars, often from insurance companies, fix them himself, and sell them. I almost bought a truck from him one time in fact, it was a beauty, a close to perfect paint job, and the color I liked, then I noticed under the truck bed, there was weld that ran the entire width of the truck! It turned out it was actually two wrecked trucks, one wrecked in the front, the other in the rear, and the two trucks had their wrecked ends cut off and then had been welded together into one truck.

Actually, George, this practice is called “sectioning” and is a common way to repair vehicles with a wrecked ends. It can be seriously overdone, but replacing a “clip” is normal.

It would help us to have more details. What is the year and mileage of this car? Is the damage just cosmetic or are there mechanical problems too (even though it runs)? Do you know (from various web sites that give car values) what it was worth before the accident? Are you trying to get into a car of the same value, higher value, or lower value?

Whether you fix the car or sell it as-is, I hope you realize that you’re basically out $3,000 either way, as your sale price now will have to be $3,000 lower.

2002 106000 miles. Don’t know if there’s mechanical damage. haven’t picked a replacement, just wondered if trading at the dealer was the best way to get it sold.

You should see what, if anything, the dealer is willing to give you for your old vehicle before you decide how you want to get rid of it. One thing you should realize is unless you are going to pay cash, when you buy from a dealer, the party carrying the loan will require collision insurance. You said you were too poor to carry collision before but now you’ll have to.

If you’re too poor to afford collision converage on your car, then you’re probably not going to be able afford anything better than what you already have.

Reality is collision insurance is for people(including poor) who cannot cover the expense of repairing the vehicle themselves or replacing it outright.

That all being said have you tried to find a shop that will fix it really cheap? Is it drivable? Sometimes between using used parts and fixing to make functional you can get the repair price down.

You can trade it in however don’t expect trade in - $3000. Expect a hassle factor in there. Basically this vehicle is likely salvage now due to cost of repairs.