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If my car is declared a total loss, can I still drive it?

Your vehicle was recently declared a total loss after an accident but is still drivable. So the question arises: my car is declared a total loss, can I still drive rebuilt car it?

The short answer is yes, but you can’t drive it right away. You can legally drive a vehicle that has been declared a total loss by obtaining a “salvage title” from your local DMV and will need the minimum requirements for auto insurance in your state.

What is a total loss?

Total loss is when an insurance claims adjuster finds it profitable to replace your car because the repairs would cost more than it is worth.

In other words, a total loss occurs when it would cost less money to replace a car than it would repair the damaged one.

If the vehicle runs fine, you can drive it if you get the salvage car title. However, you will have to analyze some technicalities before doing so.

What happens after my car is declared a total loss?

Your car insurance provider will write a check that covers the actual cash value plus the salvage value of the total loss car. If you accept payment from the insurance company, the insurance company will own your vehicle and will repossess the vehicle for parts.

Auto insurance companies report the total loss of vehicles to the DMV and the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS).

Can I buy my car from the insurance company?

The answer is yes. You can keep the vehicle and the insurance company pays you for the ACV of the vehicle. The car insurance company issues a salvage title, and you will be responsible for repairing the car if you decide to keep it.

How to get a salvaged car title

Can you drive a vehicle with a salvaged car title? Yes, you can. You cannot drive a total loss car unless you have a salvaged car title and car insurance.

Before you start shopping for car insurance, you’ll need to show your salvaged car title to your local DMV. Go to your local DMV and request an inspection for your total loss car.

DMV personnel determine if your vehicle is safe to drive. Therefore, you must repair a salvage vehicle before taking it to the DMV for inspection.

Additionally, you may be required to pay an inspection fee, which varies by state.

If the total loss vehicle doesn’t pass inspection, you’ll need to have the car repaired to your state’s standards.

A salvage car authorized to drive on the highway requires auto insurance. However, you will not be able to get full coverage.

How can you ensure a total loss vehicle?

You can ensure a total loss vehicle as long as it’s drivable and has proper repairs.

Some total loss cars are undrivable after an accident. So how can you get insurance?

Once you’ve cleared a salvage car title, you can start shopping for auto insurance. However, you may find it difficult to obtain a car insurance policy.

How can a wrecked vehicle be insured?

Wrecked cars can only be insured after the DMV clears the vehicle as a drivable car. But what kind of auto insurance covers a wrecked vehicle?

Insurance companies offer liability auto insurance only for vehicles with a saved title.

Now that you know more about total loss cars and how to ensure them, use our online quote tool and/or contact us to help answer your questions about buying your insurance.

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