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Leafy totaled :(

Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:54 am
by Valdemar
So, it happened. At about $9k retail value and $7-8k in estimated repairs my insurance declared it total loss. The car is driveable and if I don't care for aesthetics (I don't) I should be able to band-aid fix it for not much and keep driving it for some time like this, and this is what I actually want. However the insurance quoted $4k salvage bid which doesn't make sense given the estimated damage and the market value. I will try to negotiate the salvage bid down for keeping the car but if they don't budge are there any other options? Like give the car back to them for the full amount and then track it to an auction and try to buy for less? Any other advice for the best strategy if I want to keep the car? Not to mention I got a new battery as of last month, fortunately it was free, sigh. Hopefully I will at least be able to negotiate the market value up due to the new battery.

Re: Leafy totaled :(

Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:33 am
by DuncanCunningham
I've been watching the prices Leafs go for on some salvage websites. You should do the same. Some go as low as $3000 but other much higher. I'd be tempted to just get it for $4000 if you like it and know you are going to keep it. or take the money and buy it back with some change. I've noticed that the salvage prices drop if the car is missing or damaged things up front, like headlights, the plugs or signs of a rollover or if only the doors and windows are broken. any evidence that it was damaged on the body, roll cage or structure most shy away from.

I'm sure there are others here that have gone through the salvage process or watched the market longer and in more detail that I. Hopefully they will pipe up with better advice.

I guess it depends upon the money they will give you. Will you get a check for the retail minus your deductible?

Re: Leafy totaled :(

Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:46 am
by jjeff
The thing is if you try and get the retail price up, they may also try and raise the salvage price.... While you could try and wait for it to hit the auto auctions and get it for cheap(assuming you or someone you know has a license to purchase from them) you are taking quite a bit of a chance. If you really want it(I probably would in your case, especially knowing it has a new battery) I wouldn't wait for it to hit the auctions, try and talk to your adjuster and state you'd probably be interested in keeping it but was hoping they could drop the salvage price a bit. Personally I wouldn't mention the new battery but it's up to you, they may already know about it, I wonder if it's recorded somehow in CarFax? Nissan knows for sure, not sure who they pass it on to.
Worst case for $4k for a running Leaf and a basically new battery, I don't see how you could go wrong.

Re: Leafy totaled :(

Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:52 am
by Valdemar
DuncanCunningham wrote:I guess it depends upon the money they will give you. Will you get a check for the retail minus your deductible?
No deductible as we aren't at fault. Without me playing the new battery card I'm looking at $5300 total settlement with keeping the car. As for the damage, the car was T-boned on the left side, the driver's door likely needs replacement, minor damage to the B-pillar in the lower area around the label with the VIN/manufacture date, this damage causes about 1/8 inch rear door not flush on the rearmost upper corner, rear left door has some damage but I can live with it. The doors close normally, there is no binding or other problems. So the band-aid work is to pull the b-pillar out a bit to make the rear door to sit flush, some mickey-mouse bondo and spray-paint in the area, and replace the front door with a matching used part from e-bay or the like, I'm guessing $2k will cover it.

Re: Leafy totaled :(

Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:56 am
by DuncanCunningham
Valdemar wrote:I'm looking at $5300 total settlement with keeping the car..
I'd keep it then. Looking at the reasons you feel comfortable with the repairs and living with a less than perfect finish.

Re: Leafy totaled :(

Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:05 am
by Valdemar
jjeff wrote:The thing is if you try and get the retail price up, they may also try and raise the salvage price.... While you could try and wait for it to hit the auto auctions and get it for cheap(assuming you or someone you know has a license to purchase from them) you are taking quite a bit of a chance. If you really want it(I probably would in your case, especially knowing it has a new battery) I wouldn't wait for it to hit the auctions, try and talk to your adjuster and state you'd probably be interested in keeping it but was hoping they could drop the salvage price a bit. Personally I wouldn't mention the new battery but it's up to you, they may already know about it, I wonder if it's recorded somehow in CarFax? Nissan knows for sure, not sure who they pass it on to.
Worst case for $4k for a running Leaf and a basically new battery, I don't see how you could go wrong.
The comps they used didn't have a new battery. I do have a concern about them raising the salvage value. But if they offer me extra $4k for the new battery I may just let them to have the car, chances of this happening are close to nil though.

Re: Leafy totaled :(

Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:19 am
by LKK
Many auto auctions only allow licensed dealers to bid so if you track your car to an auction you may have to have a dealer bid on it, and there's no way they will to it for free. Additionally, when the dealer transfers title you will have to pay tax and registration. I think taking the insurance offer may be cheaper and less of a Hassel.

Re: Leafy totaled :(

Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:21 am
by Valdemar
LKK wrote:Many auto auctions only allow licensed dealers to bid so if you track your car to an auction you may have to have a dealer bid on it, and there's no way they will to it for free. Additionally, when the dealer transfers title you will have to pay tax and registration. I think taking the insurance offer may be cheaper and less of a Hassel.
Agreed, so I guess the remaining dilemma is whether or not to try to negotiate the value up based on the new battery if I want to keep the car.

Re: Leafy totaled :(

Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:16 am
by QueenBee
Valdemar wrote:
LKK wrote:Many auto auctions only allow licensed dealers to bid so if you track your car to an auction you may have to have a dealer bid on it, and there's no way they will to it for free. Additionally, when the dealer transfers title you will have to pay tax and registration. I think taking the insurance offer may be cheaper and less of a Hassel.
Agreed, so I guess the remaining dilemma is whether or not to try to negotiate the value up based on the new battery if I want to keep the car.
The angle I would take is to attempt to negotiate the salvage first. Then once that is agreed upon they'd probably be less likely to change that. Then you could bring up the new battery and how that greatly impacts the value. It's only fair that they replace the car with one like yours so they need to do one of two things IMO. Find a comparable car with a new battery that the value could be based on or find a comparable car and add the cost of replacing the battery. This should be pretty easy but be ready to push on them if they don't give in right away.

I've never done this as when I had the same experience as you with my ICE that was totaled about 8 months before my 2011 LEAF was delivered they offered a fair buy back price and a fair totaled price.

Re: Leafy totaled :(

Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:39 am
by LeftieBiker
On a slightly related note, I was in a minor crash yesterday. It was my fault, sadly, the result of being distracted by a car hauler unloading vehicles at the side of the road. I accelerated from a stop sign (after stopping) and hit a poor woman in a Ford Escape who had just stopped in front of me to make a left turn. The Escape has serious damage to both left side doors, while my Leaf has only scratches and a shallow gouge on the nose. I feel terrible about it, and my insurance will go up, but I won't be making a claim and no one was injured. I would have expected a lot more damage to the Leaf, given the bent metal on the Ford.