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I recently sent my 2007 Honda Accord LX 94k miles into the shop after getting rear ended by someone who was texting and driving. I got a call from the shop saying that it was declared a total loss. The final numbers weren't sent to me yet, but am wondering what I should do before accepting an offer.

I bought this car used in cash at the beginning of the year for $8100. I am a college student and really don't want to get ripped off.

Judging by autotrader, craigslist, etc. You can't get one for much under $8000. If they offer me, say $5000, or $6000, how can I argue for more?

  • They will call it a total loss when the cost to repair exceeds the value of the car. You will only get the blue book value for your car and won't be able to argue for more. You can however, keep the car and the cash and find a cheap place to repair it, get a slavage title and get back on the road. – DustinDavis Aug 28 '15 at 14:27
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what a pitty for your Honda Accord:( be aware that some shops are saying that the car is declared total loss while it isn't really, maybe you can ask for another dealers opinion? Do you have any pictures so I can see it myself?

I don't know how the car looks like(the damage) so I can't tell you how much you will get for your Accord, if their offer is too low, you can go to another dealer/shop and ask their opinion. if they are offering you too low as well, you can still sell your car in pieces,

I know the feeling, when I crashed my Golf GTI I sold it in pieces as well since there was too much to repair. any store/dealer would have given crap and I simply don't have the time to repair it.

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I don't know if it's the same in the US, but over here, as you were the victim, you have the right to have the car repaired or replaced to the same standard as it was before the crash - bear in mind that it'll be the other driver's insurance that will be paying for it. Stand your ground and don't accept anything less than the cost of a similar condition car.

If you bought the car only a few months ago and still have the receipt, you should have a good case for the value of it (it won't have depreciated much, if at all, in that time). Gather plenty of other evidence as to the value as well, such as adverts for similar cars (printed, with dates on the printouts), completed listings on eBay, etc, as that will all help your case.

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Think outside the box

It entails more work on your part, but if money matters then one way to make the most of this catastrophe is to part out the Accord.

This is a mass-produced vehicle and there will be plenty of owners out there in need of an odd mechanical, body or interior part who will be happy to buy used parts if they are in good nick and the price is right.


What can be salvaged?

Given the damage affects the rear of the vehicle, the following things should be salvageable. The list is not exhaustive, just a list of items which spring to mind:

  • Engine bay

    • Engine
    • Transmission
    • Front suspension
    • Engine subframe
    • Front arms
    • Headlights
    • Radiator
    • Cooling fan(s)
    • Air intake
    • Battery
    • Power steering pump
    • AC compressor
    • Alternator
    • Brake booster
  • Interior

    • Seats
    • Steering wheel
    • Interior trim
    • Glovebox
    • Gear selector
    • Seatbelts
  • Body

    • Doors
    • Front wings
    • Engine bonnet/hood
    • Wheels
    • Brake discs
    • Suspension components

How do I know what's the right price to charge for each part?

I can't give estimates because it'll differ across regions and over time.

You can use eBay, Craigslist and local experts as a reference. The more you undercut the price of the competition, the better your chances of selling the part.


What's the investment?

It's modest. Most parts are easy to dismantle with a ½"-drive ratchet set and a set of screwdrivers.

The rest is really just basic project management requirements - time, planning and room to work on the car and store parts.

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wait until the insurers make you an offer on the car. Remember you are not claiming just for the car but the time and inconvenience of having to find another.

If you aren't happy with the offer, get a letter from the Honda owners club stating their opinion of value of the vehicle pre-accident condition. I don't know how it works where you are but in the UK we have an Insurance Ombudsman why can assist in setting things like this.

Mind you, you may be pleasantly surprised by their offer anyway.

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