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I read the fine print on the gap insurance I was offered by my lender. It said they could value the car any way they saw fit. I declined.
I don't buy GAP on my wife's vehicles. She's so low on mileage and we generally put in a decent down payment so we're never at a point where we owe more than it's worth.
Her '15 Rav just rolled 30k a couple of months ago and we only owe $3500 on it.
My cars OTOH, I roll about 25k per year, so I'm nearly always upside down.
 

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My cars OTOH, I roll about 25k per year, so I'm nearly always upside down.
This is one big reason I am loving my '09 Camry now: paid for years ago, I have now put in a rebuilt engine and newer tranny, and I put 22k a year just driving to work. The Camry is the perfect daily driver for that. Every mile I get out of it now (over 250k on the odo) is money saved for me. I am very willing to drop another $2k into it for things like new manifolds (exhaust and intake), new O2 sensors, etc. as it should then give me another 250k+ readily. Much rather drop $2k than $25k on a new car that would depreciate immediately and put me upside down for a few years, or buy a used car and wind up owning someone else's shitty ride.
 

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This is one big reason I am loving my '09 Camry now: paid for years ago, I have now put in a rebuilt engine and newer tranny, and I put 22k a year just driving to work. The Camry is the perfect daily driver for that. Every mile I get out of it now (over 250k on the odo) is money saved for me. I am very willing to drop another $2k into it for things like new manifolds (exhaust and intake), new O2 sensors, etc. as it should then give me another 250k+ readily. Much rather drop $2k than $25k on a new car that would depreciate immediately and put me upside down for a few years, or buy a used car and wind up owning someone else's shitty ride.
If I had a regular garage and driveway where I had the ability to perform major work... or ANY work at my convenience, I'd be more than happy to do so... hell, I'd probably still have my '03 Tundra.

Unfortunately, I live in a condo complex, so the only place to work is in the parking lot, and as a board member I can only bend the rules so far before someone bitches... even though the board allows a LOT of rule bending by all residents.
If I can't be in and out in an hour or so, I pay the dealer to do it. Last major job that I did was the water pump in my '08 Tacoma and that generated two phone calls. No issues with brakes or oil changes, but I won't do both front and rear the same weekend, and I won't change the oil in both cars the same weekend.
 

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If I had a regular garage and driveway where I had the ability to perform major work... or ANY work at my convenience, I'd be more than happy to do so... hell, I'd probably still have my '03 Tundra.

Unfortunately, I live in a condo complex, so the only place to work is in the parking lot, and as a board member I can only bend the rules so far before someone bitches... even though the board allows a LOT of rule bending by all residents.
If I can't be in and out in an hour or so, I pay the dealer to do it. Last major job that I did was the water pump in my '08 Tacoma and that generated two phone calls. No issues with brakes or oil changes, but I won't do both front and rear the same weekend, and I won't change the oil in both cars the same weekend.

I feel for ya man; it is a bear to not be able to do the work because of space. On the Camry alone I have saved at least $10,000 in labor doing the work myself (replace the tranny, replace the engine at a different time, replace all front and rear suspension, replace radiator, replace wear materials like brakes, rotors, etc., replace fluids...). Now that I am working to build my car port that will give me the option to enclose the space so I can paint myself... ka-CHING. Hello body work and paint at home. Had I not had the space then I would have been forced to just get a new car awhile ago as no way I would have shelled out the thousands in labor to do certain jobs. And I just hate paying a shop/dealership that $150/hr or whatever to do whatever job. Even though my time may be worth more, I like working with my hands at home as I am very white collar where I work. Good to get greasy hands when you can.
 

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Yes, if it's not totaled, make sure to get adequate diminished value!

My parents' 2001 Camry bought brand new in 2001 was rear ended in 2002 when it had something like 3,000 miles. The damage was somewhere between $7-8K. They didn't know any better at the time and didn't know they could sue for diminished value. After it was repaired, the trunk sometimes doesn't open when you pull the cable from the interior of the car (so you need to use the key). It still happens to this day once in awhile. When I asked my parents about it, they said they brought it back to the repair place (which was apparently run by a friend of a friend) who tried to fix the trunk cable issue but apparently the issue came back and my parents couldn't be bothered to bring it back again since it only happened every so often.

A few years ago, the paint started peeling pretty badly from the rear and trunklid. The paint on the trunk also started to look kind of scratchy after awhile. The trunklid hinges were also weaker than normal, which I realized after I bought my second 2001 Camry. The bumper cover was also clearly of inferior quality and the glue holding the bumper cover together kind of fell apart, so the bumper cover feels loose.

When I was trying to take care of some surface rust last year, I noticed that the rear weld point on the rocker panel of my parents' Camry was a bit rustier than my Camry, despite mine having more miles. I don't know if they had to weld on a whole new rear quarter panel from the accident, but my guess is the accident had something to do with it.

What I'm trying to say is -- the accident was NOT your fault. Despite what others say, it's extraordinarily difficult for a car to be fully restored to its pre-accident condition. It can be done, and needs to be done using high quality parts and paint. Take it to a very reputable body shop (the law says you can take it wherever you want, not just where your insurance company says). Demand OEM parts and paint.

On top of that, you don't know when signs of the accident will start showing up. You may have some rust or other issues that show up in 15 years due to the accident. If you ever sell the car, this will be a problem. Fight for what is fair. Even if you aren't particularly bothered with flaking/bubbling paint issues, rust is a problem whether you care about appearance or not.
 

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It is difficult to repair a bad collision, but a good shop will do it. My '95 Corolla was involved in a harsh frontal collision that cost ~$10k to repair in late '95 with deployed airbags. To this day, I haven't seen a single repercussion from that collision, paint or otherwise. If I recall, the shop had to use a frame straightening machine. I don't know if those are still used.


Good luck OP.
 

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Op, ensure that the shop you choose to use has a frame puller. Because some shops sub that work to another shop and they may not do it properly.

When the estimate was done, was it blind or was it on a lift? I ask because the hidden damage could raise the ceiling of the estimate.
 

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Damn OP, that sucks. On the plus side, they actually cut it up instead of just pulling out the crumpled spots (+1 from me on that), not a lot of shops will do that.

Some background, I am a senior paralegal in a personal injury/divorce/corporate etc. law firm and diminished value statutes varies from state to state. Honestly, I would consult with an attorney before making any moves. IF YOU FEEL PRESSURED BY ATTORNEY TO DO ANYTHING, DON'T!

If your state DOES allow diminished value, then it cannot be started until after the repairs are done (cost of repairs and damages must be taken into account using a specific formula). Additionally, since this is recent, get the KBB value of our vehicle now and print that out (or save the PDF). On the plus side, your state does allow diminished value claims and the statute of limitations if five years, but again, consult with an attorney.

If your injured, same thing, speak with an attorney. Personal injury claims in Virginia have a statute of limitations of two years. If you are not injured, at least get checked out, you would be surprised what kind injuries people can get from a simple fender bend(your accident is obviously worse).
 

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I had an accident years ago. Didn't purchase GAP, so I was responsible for remaining payments to release the title to the insurance company.

My understanding of GAP insurance.will cover the difference from value of vehicle at time of loss to loan balance.
This is why you always put a decent down payment and/or get a great deal on the car so the value is always higher than the loan. :smile:
 

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Body shop is telling me it's repairable. Preliminary estimate at 7K before they even tear it down.
Anything is repairable, even if they total it. Most likely it would be bought at action and repaired and later sold with a salvaged title.
 

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I don't buy GAP on my wife's vehicles. She's so low on mileage and we generally put in a decent down payment so we're never at a point where we owe more than it's worth.
Her '15 Rav just rolled 30k a couple of months ago and we only owe $3500 on it.
My cars OTOH, I roll about 25k per year, so I'm nearly always upside down.
I've never bought GAP insurance as I always pay extra every month and pay the loan off as fast as I can. When I bought my 2017 Corolla iM I had to take a loan out to get the $750 recent grad rebate but paid it off 10 days later. I wasn't planning on buying the 2017 RAV4 the same day but I still put down $3k and with the discount I got the loan was for $21k on a $32k vehicle. Then I paid it off in 13 months. I've always hated car payments ever since I bought my 1982 Tercel. Even though I was putting myself through college I paid off the 48 month loan in 18 months working extra shifts. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Finally got her back on Friday. They did a good job, however the inside of the car got really dirty and while they cleaned it, I can still see some light white dust on the black seats. I'll try to clean it first before I bitch about that. They should have at least covered the seats or interior as much as possible. The back glass was moved during the repair so all kind of crap got in there.
 

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Glad to hear you have your car back. Are you going to fight for diminished value?
 

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Discussion Starter #39 (Edited)
USAA came back with $1,400 diminished value payment. Not sure if that's good or not. Carmax offered 12K on my car since they could tell the quarter panel, trunk, bumper, and the whole back-end was replaced. They said they can't even sell it since it's considered to have structural damage. I'm not really planning on selling it, but I wanted to know what options I have.

Carvana offered this much:

KBB FAIR CONDITION $15,229
ACCIDENT ADJUSTMENT - $1,523
LOCAL MARKET ADJUSTMENT - $394
YOUR OFFER $13,312

For the record, I didn't have to fight USAA on any of this. They have a simple form to fill out and took 2-3 business days to get back to me. Please note you need to ask for this, they will not offer this.
 

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FYI I have Geico and the last time I had an accident, not only was the car fixed perfectly it was also detailed inside and out.
 
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