When Does a Car Become a Total Loss?

Total Loss CarWe can’t tell you the number of times people have arrived in their damaged car and asked us if their vehicle is repairable or if it’s a total loss. What exactly is the definition of a total loss car? There seems to be some confusion here based on the frequent enquiries we receive.

“Total Loss” Explained

Insurers use various factors to determine if a vehicle is a total loss following a collision. For the most part, they consider a car a total loss if the cost of collision repairs exceeds the vehicle’s actual cash value (ACV). However, this may not always be the case. A car with an ACV of $6,000 and requiring $4,500 in repairs may be considered a total loss. Your insurance company makes the final call.

Many people ask questions about whether a car with a bent frame is considered totaled. It’s true that cars built in before the mid 1980s were almost always considered totaled when their frames were bent from a collision. However, car frames today are built with crumple zones in place. Crumple zones are certain areas of the car that are designed to crumple upon collision so they bear the brunt of the impact. This prevents the force from being transmitted to the occupants. Because technology in auto repair shops has improved by leaps and bounds, in some instances, a frame and its crumple zone can be repaired. To do so requires using highly sophisticated computer laser measurement systems to measure the location and extent of damage.

We’ll Determine if Your Car Is Totaled

Bring your car to Absolute Auto Body to find out if it’s totaled. We often act as the intermediary between drivers and their insurance company when determining whether a car is salvageable. If it is, our crew can provide full repairs and other services, including auto painting to restore the aesthetics. Contrary to what some say, you can’t determine if a car is a total loss just by “eye-balling” it.

Complete Collision Repairs and Estimates

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