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Can I just sell the car without registering?

I'm not sure if it matters, but I live in California, and I recently got in an accident. It was ruled that 85% was the other person's fault. I have to get a quote still but I just wanted to ask a few questions. I plan on buying a new car with the money I get, so the idea is to get the most money possible. How much do you get if it's a total loss, and how much do you get if it isn't? For example my car's worth is $4000. My friend got in an accident a few months back, and it was a total loss. He said that they bought the car from him. But they deducted as much as they could. They deducted money because the tires needed to be replaced, there were rips in the back seat, etc. Do they do this if it's not a total loss? Do they just cut you a check for the amount to repair it without deducting for "bad tires"? Because I'm thinking, if the total damage is $3900, that's a lot better than it being a total loss at $4100 and having them deduct a bunch of money which will result in getting less than $3900. Also, what if you want to keep the vehicle even though it's a total loss? Do I need to re-register it and re-smog check it? If so, can I just sell the car without registering it again just "as parts"?

Posted on 2013-02-15 01:00:27

All Answers


Well, in California, it is the insurance company that decides when to pay for the total and when to repair. It is purely economical and is normally determined based on a percentage. The company will have a rough idea of what your vehicle is worth, and if the repairs seem like they will cost over 75% of this amount they will likely declare the vehicle a total loss. As for deducting money, they can and will deduct for vehicle condtion such as the tires and upholstery and such if it is a total loss, but not if it isn't. If you want to keep a totaled vehicle, you normally will be able to, but the insurance company will deduct the salvage value of your vehicle before they pay you, and will report your vehicle to the State so the title will have to be flagged as salvaged. You would have re-register a totaled vehicle as the State requires an inspection on salvage vehicles before they are registered, or you could get a parts only title if the vehicle is not repaired.

2013-02-15 01:00:27
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