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urgent - re salvage title, insurance, and repairs - I'd like to chat with someone who has knowledge

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  • urgent - re salvage title, insurance, and repairs - I'd like to chat with someone who has knowledge

    First, this is does not involve my Miata. Whew. I'm looking for someone that has been through something similar and knows the regulations in Georgia.

    Situation: A driver insured by Progressive rear ended our family car. Everyone is fine. I am sure the car will be totaled.

    For sentimental reasons, my family would prefer to repair and keep this car even if not perfect. It's a 19 year old car and I am not worried about repairing it to perfect condition or about maintaining our ability to sell or trade it in the future. We're fine driving it until it dies which appeared to be years more down the road.

    So I have a lot of questions so that I can navigate this situation.

    When the vehicle is totaled, the repair must be inspected and a salvage title issued, right?

    Do have have to surrender the title to the insurance company to get any cash from them?

    One option that I think would work for us is to have the car repaired by a shade tree (it's probably beyond my capabilities but not by much). How do I get a payout from the insurance and not surrender the title?

    The salvage title doesn't bother me. If I don't surrender the title, will we have issues when renewing the registration? Does it go into some state of limbo?

    Any advice appreciated. If you wouldn't mind talking about this live, PM me and let's connect by cell.

    '01 BRG #2807 FS: 4 nice black Chaparral's, $400

    Build log:

  • #2
    If the car is totaled you will surrender the title.
    If the insurance company is willing to sell it back to you they will do so with a salvage title which is only good for rebuilding or parts.
    If you rebuild it the proper papers must be filled out and the work/car is inspected by a state inspector. There are fees involved.
    After that is satisfactorily completed and the papers and additional fees for that are submitted to the state the state should issue (if all is satisfactory) you a rebuilt title. You can then get a tag and insure the car for street use. You can not tag, drive, or register a salvage car. It must be 'rebuilt' and inspected first.

    In many circumstances its easier and smarter to get as much $ as you can for the total and just put that toward another car. YRMV
    Last edited by metalman; 04-18-2019, 12:14 PM.


    • #3
      The only way you can get a payout and not surrender the title (or end up with salvage/rebuilt) is for the car NOT to be totaled.
      In other words the payout must be less than 60-70% of what THEY value your car at. (the actual % may vary with insurance companies)


      • #4
        Thanks for the reply.

        It's my understanding that the rebuilding must be done by a "licensed rebuilder" which of course I am not and I'd bet there are inspections before, during, and after the repair similar to home construction/ renovations. I am expecting that to be laborious and slow and the inspectors to be a picky bunch as it's their job to ensure that only safe vehicles re-enter the market and are driven on the roads.

        For instance, one of the rear tow hooks is bent and the frame extension it's attached to is flex'd maybe 1/4". I don't give a crap and it does not affect the operation, alignment, or function of the car. But I'd bet the inspector would want something like this fixed. So it's a whole can of worms situation, right?
        '01 BRG #2807 FS: 4 nice black Chaparral's, $400

        Build log:


        • #5
          A rebuild can be done by a person that is not a licensed rebuilder. However the number of such rebuilds a private citizen can do
          is limited to a certain number per year. As to picky inspectors, it totally depends on who inspects it, who does the work etc.
          Inspection takes place after body work is completed but before any paint work is done....unless that has changed.


          • #6
            As I indicated earlier, generally the quickest easiest path is to get as much as you can and move on to another car.


            • #7
              My 78 year old mother in law just went through this. She spent months looking for the perfect Town Car, then wrecked it a few months later. She was quite attached to the car because a) it was uncommonly nice, and b) she prayed hard for this car and when she found it she felt like it that was related.

              She was in despair, so I started to look into the process and found everything that Kurt so nicely summarized above. All in all, it was easier than expected. They paid a body shop to do some of the work, then took it to one of the state-licensed inspectors to get it signed off so they could get a rebuilt title. The inspector was not too harsh - they just wanted to make sure it was roadworthy.

              One important note - if you are doing any paint work, you have to get the car inspected before paint.


              • #8
                All good advice above. One other note I would add, for any used parts included in the repair you will need receipts/bill of sale including the VIN number.
                David Luney - Suwanee GA
                [email protected]
                04 RX-8, 10 Black MS3, 08 Red MS3, 06 550i, 05 325i 92 Spec Miata and a parts car or two.