Should I even bother fixing this up? Please advise me I'm so lost

I’m not sure which section to put this in because I’m not sure what to do. Would REALLY appreciate some help on this new situation for me.

Here’s the situation. Somebody hit the front left of my 2008 Honda Civic causing some front body damage, insurance is declaring it a total loss. If I want to keep the car, they will give me 600 bucks less and declare it salvage.

At that point I have to fix it up to state standards to keep it legal. Buying the parts myself and having some city mechanic I found put them on will cost me about 900 to hopefully pass state inspection (not guaranteed). I think I just need a fender and the fender wall and the headlight and probably the front bumper cover. That’s about 350 if the local supplier ever gets them in and he’s saying labor will be like 4 or 5 hours and cost me 400 to 600

It is a Honda Civic from 2008 with 230,000 miles, but its in great shape for how many miles it has, very well maintained and runs smoothly.

Should I just take the 600 and save my time and stress and give them the car? Or should I keep it for myself and fix the body up hoping there’s no other problems that might botch my state inspection?

OR another option should I try to sell it as a salvage vehicle and make more than the 600 insurance is offering to take it? How much more do you think I could get? Please help me figure this out, I’ve never been in this situation. My lady wants me to just take the 600 and junk it and be done with it but i’m hesitant

Call around to some auto U-pull, recycle,junk yards to see if there’s parts on hand.

Everything that needs to be replaced is bolt-on.

And might get lucky and parts are the same color.


1 Like

There is your best advice . I seldom hear people who keep a vehicle that has a salvage title think they will ever do it again .


are you saying that insurance is only valuing this car at $600? But they will give you $600 less for keeping it and trying to fix it?
I’m a little confused.

but, first call needs to be to your insurance company, and even find out if they will insure a car with a salvaged or rebuilt title. I’ve heard that some companies will not.

Has the car been inspected for frame damage? Other damage to the components on the front end? Radiator, Condenser, air bag sensors and such?


So I’m saying this guys insurance will give me 4000 bucks to just take the car, or they will give me 3400 and we can keep it with a salvage title. Haven’t informed my insurance company.

The salvage title means I have to get it to pass a Maryland inspection within 90 days to keep it on the road.

The car has been looked over by some mechanic dude. Everything else looks in tact mechanically same as before just need the fender and bumper and healight fixed up but I’ve never dealt with body damage before. The airbag wiring got disconnected but I’ve been told that doesn’t matter for Maryland inspection. PLUS, there is that risk that we fix all that and then they say “well actually your alignment and suspension are a little off, fix those if you want to pass inspection.”

So with lots of other stuff going on in life I am not sure how much effort this situation is worth right now. It runs fine still, I’m just worried about the government leeting me insure and drive it. I also don’t know if I can sell it for much more than 600 with a salvage title and all that damage to a 230,000 mile car (still runs great though)

Like the song says… Take the money and run,
there is a lot more damage than you think.


insurance will give me 4000 bucks
Take the money and run and don’t look back try anything else and it will cost more than it is worth. :pensive: :smiley: :smiley:


I will take a different track… Insurance must make you “whole” again. If you can’t buy a comparable car for $4000, then you are not made whole.

Search your area for a comparable car. Google used 08 Honda Civics and find at least 3 of comparable options, condition and miles. If they cost more than $4k, lay them out for the insurance and tell them to increase the offer. Tell them firmly if you can’t come to an agreement, a lawyer is your next step.

Otherwise take the $4k and walk away. This car will not get fixed in 90 days in this screwed up auto parts market and you WILL find something else needing repair.


You’re always at a loss when you have an original owner vehicle that was well maintained and not driven hard. The insurance will pay you to buy something that could be good, or it could be that the transmission fluid was never changed and the previous owner drove it hard and it will need a major repair in 40k miles, whereas your car would have gone for another 150k miles.

1 Like

“The airbag wiring got disconnected but I’ve been told that doesn’t matter for Maryland inspection.”

I think you’ve been getting a lot of advice from dubious sources, and this is a good example. I’m not going to bother to look it up (but YOU should), but I believe that the general criterion for Maryland inspection is that all the original safety features of the car must be functioning properly. E.g., I had to replace a little side reflector on a car to get it through Maryland inspection. Air bags are certainly a safety feature.

(Maryland inspection is a safety inspection required to put a used car on the road. It is not a periodic inspection, like emissions testing. The safety inspection is not required if the used car is transferred to a close relative.)


With 230,000 miles that car has two wheels in the grave and another two on banana peels. Take the money, sign the car over to the insurance company, and be done with it.


It says that Airbags, ABS, and engine lights are not required to pass inspection.

1 Like

Well, I’ll be…!!!

I wonder if I’d still be required to replace that missing side reflector. But this is not the forum to discuss the wisdom of the rules.

Thanks for the correction.

1 Like
  1. If the car is repairable, is it insurable and would you be comfortable driving it for at least a year?

  2. If yes, Are all the systems working (Engine, Tranny, A/C, electrical, ect.) and can the car be currently driven to an Inspection Station? An Inspection runs about $100 and gives you a detailed list of everything that’s checked. Reinspections of failed items are generally free.

3 Take Inspection report to whoever will be doing the repair to get a Fixed Price, in writing quote, including payment contingent upon passing Reinspection.

Now, only after you’ve got all the facts, is it decision time.

For myself, I always start with a maximum cost based on my guess of the minimum projected life, vs. the cost of replacement. .i.e. Repair costs $1,000, 6 months payments on a replacement would cost $1,500 so if the car lasts for 6 months I’m $500 ahead of the game.

1 Like

It should be noted that the insurance settlement is supposed to be based upon dealer retail (what a dealer would sell the car for) and not private-party, however with so many miles, I cannot find a similar car for sale at a dealer. Even based upon private party, I think $4k for this is too low in today’s market. A quick look on the local Craigslist shows a 2003 Civic sedan in excellent condition with 175,000 miles for $4500, a 2005 in excellent condition with 185428 miles for $6000, a 2007 in excellent condition with 143,000 miles for $9700, and another 2007 in decent condition, but “rebuilt” title for $4000. And these are all private-party.

I do not believe that you can replace this car for $4k in today’s market, period, regardless of whatever the Kelly Blue Book or any other pricing guide might say. In fact, looking at vehicles for sale on Craigslist, I would say the realistic value of this car, before the accident, was around $5k. Are you sure you’re not having any pain or discomfort from this accident, which might “motivate” the insurance company to offer a more reasonable settlement?


So many good replies thanks a lot everybody. This is what I keep thinking bcohen2010. Everybody says just take the 600 extra and let them have it, but I feel like I’d be giving up some value here. Is it worth all the extra stress though i dunno.

Somebody said just throw 100 bucks at a proper inspection instead of letting random mechanic dude give me a probably, but I’m even being cheap not wanting to throw that away for no reason if I’m just scrapping it. Then I’m only getting 500 extra instead of 600 in my head. They also said it could become a money pit if anything else is wrong though. The repairs at a normal body shop would be well over over 2000, its only cheaper in my estimate because I’d be buying my own parts and then just giving them to a mechanic looking for side jobs to put them on.

Also to the guy who mention todays auto parts market, I didn’t realize it would be so hard to find these parts for a reasonable price. The best local parts dealer keeps saying call back next week, supply chain issues. There’s also the pressure of my woman saying to just scrap it, so if I keep it and the fix up becomes a hassle there’s an extra stressor to consider.

I still need to ponder a lil but thanks again for all the input. Any further opinions welcome.

Just go with her and move on . The vehicle is near the end of it’s life cycle anyway .

The A/C condenser doesn’t look like it even has a scratch on it and the impact bar looks unscathed so I would tend to want to fix it as it looks like a bolt on repair to me. My vote is with Tester.

I’ve owned 2 cars in the past that were far worse than this (Subaru broadside into a full size Blazer and Mercury into a full sized deer at 65 MPH) and I repaired both by bolt on parts.
Fixed the Mercury in 2 days after finding a complete front clip for 400 dollars.


I guess you have to do it a few times to realize how easy a repair like this actually is.


OK , this should be a straight forward repair . But the other person in this is not interested in keeping the vehicle . There is a 90 day time frame so if the shop has trouble finding the parts they just might shove it aside an work on things they can finish and get paid . What if it does not pass inspection then money wasted . Sometimes it is just time to move on .