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Replacing Your Car After an Accident?
Let’s take a moment to say, “thank heavens!” You’ve made it through a car accident, and that’s something to be grateful for. But if your car didn’t make it, then it’s now time to go through the tedious process of replacing it. The most difficult part about replacing your car after an accident are the plethora of costs you’ll have to pay. But if you manage everything properly, you’ll be back on the road in no time with a new vehicle and minimal financial damage.
Here’s how to replace your car after a collision.
Get Repair Costs
If your car didn’t get absolutely totaled in the accident, there might be a chance you could have it repaired for a cheaper price than what it would cost you to buy a new car. Get repair costs from the collision center you had your vehicle taken to.
When you know exactly how much it’ll take to repair your vehicle, you’ll have to make a decision: repair or replace. Consider the following factors:
The age of your vehicle: if your car is older, it might be better to spend money on a new car than to repair the old one
Your financial situation: choose to repair your car if it’s more financially viable for you than buying a new one
Remember that paint damage is not your most pressing concern. You can get a new paint job for a relatively inexpensive price, or you can paint it yourself. It’s the structural damage that is going to be costly.
If neither repairing your car nor replacing it seem financially viable for you, there are other options available to you. We’ll get to those soon.
Prepare for Rate Increase
Before you choose whether to repair or replace your car, you should factor a rate increase into your budget. Insurance costs often increase after an auto collision. If you weren’t at fault in the accident, your insurance won’t increase because the at-fault driver’s insurance will cover the damage; if your insurance increases in this situation, you should probably look for a more generous insurance provider. But if the at-fault driver fled from the scene, it’s very likely that your insurance costs may increase.
Higher insurance costs may change your financial situation, and may swing you toward either replacing or repairing.
Buy a Used Car
You might also consider buying a used car. You can buy a used vehicle for a much cheaper price than a new vehicle. And you’re not necessarily sacrificing quality, either. There are plenty of used cars that are still in great condition and may last you for a long time.
If you’re really concerned about the quality of a used vehicle, find a dealer that sells certified used cars. These dealers are typically associated with car manufacturers, and the dealers maintain the cars with manufacturer-approved methods and parts. For example, check out these certified Mercedes for sale in Houston. These are pre-owned Mercedes vehicles, but they’re all in tip-top shape and are sure to give you great mileage. And, as you can see, those vehicles are much cheaper than brand-new Mercedes cars—some of them are nearly half the price.
You could also buy from a private seller. Private sellers are not associated with any car manufacturer. You’ll have to thoroughly inspect the vehicle to make sure that it’s in good condition, but you can often find the best prices from private sellers. You might even be able to purchase a quality used vehicle for only a few thousand dollars. Buy from a private seller if you need a car immediately, but you don’t have a lot of money to spare.
Lease or Rent a Car
If you’ve decided that you’re not going to have your car repaired (or if your car was outright totaled) then you’ll have to buy a new car. But there’s a good chance that you haven’t had time to financially prepare yourself for a new vehicle purchase—you don’t have money put away, or you haven’t prepped your credit score for an auto loan.
In the short term, the simplest solution is to rent a car. Try to rent from a car rental company that has many locations nationwide.
But using rental cars could be very costly if it’s going to take you more than a few weeks to buy a new vehicle. Consider leasing a car instead. When you lease a car, you make a down payment and then you make monthly payments for a predetermined amount of time—it’s like renting an apartment. Most car leases are for a minimum of 2 years, which should give you plenty of time to prepare yourself to buy a new vehicle. If that’s too long for you, though, you can find some car leases that are for only 12 to 18 months.
Leasing a car is typically much cheaper than buying a new vehicle.
When you’re trying to replace your car after an accident, always be aware of your financial situation and don’t rush into buying a new vehicle that you can’t afford. And consider leasing a vehicle or buying a used car if you’re not ready to buy a car hot off the assembly line.