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Model 3: Total vs Repair

kmhv2lax

Member
Nov 25, 2018
5
0
California
Hi all,

I am an owner of a 2018 Tesla Model 3 with roughly 20k miles, which recently got in an accident. I am a first time car owner, and have some questions for you about repair vs totaling.

In the state of California, the totaling evaluation is based on the Total Loss Formula, where if (Cost of Repairs + Salvage value > ACV) the car is totaled. Here's where I stand:

  • Cost of repairs estimated at 28k

  • KBB fair ACV at $35k
    • Private buyer valued at 39/40, but I don't want to count that in this estimate, to stay conservative.
  • Amount still owed in financing: $31k

  • Salvage price unknown. Damage is purely to rear left end and still completely operational, so I'd estimate on the higher end as far as salvage prices go.
My situation is that I know of some other shops that have lower per hour labor costs. In the interest of making sure the car is NOT totaled, I've reached out to them for new quotes. My question is- is this even worth pursuing?

I know my premium is going to spike after this, so why not just let them total the car (if that is what the appraiser decides)? TLDR: Just got in accident- what are the benefits of totaling versus coming in just under the Total price? What is in my best interest?
 

Kirby64

Member
Jun 28, 2018
485
491
Austin, TX
At 28k of repairs, get it totaled. You do NOT want a car that's had 28k worth of repairs back (for an ACV of 35k). That likely means heavy frame damage or battery damage (or both).

What benefit do you get for not totaling the car? That's a huge amount of repair time. I'd bet almost any amount of money that getting a new car would be faster than waiting on repairs.
 
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kmhv2lax

Member
Nov 25, 2018
5
0
California
At 28k of repairs, get it totaled. You do NOT want a car that's had 28k worth of repairs back (for an ACV of 35k). That likely means heavy frame damage or battery damage (or both).

What benefit do you get for not totaling the car? That's a huge amount of repair time. I'd bet almost any amount of money that getting a new car would be faster than waiting on repairs.
You make a solid point, which I've been debating in my head for the past couple days. I'm just wondering if in the long run getting it repaired instead of totaled will mean lower insurance costs.
 

SlimJim

Member
Jul 25, 2019
871
663
USA
If it was your fault, either way it will raise the premium.
But that's what the insurance is for.
I would get it totaled if possible and move on.
 
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Kirby64

Member
Jun 28, 2018
485
491
Austin, TX
You make a solid point, which I've been debating in my head for the past couple days. I'm just wondering if in the long run getting it repaired instead of totaled will mean lower insurance costs.

It won't.

Consider that, assuming you have the proper coverage, while it's getting repaired your insurance would have to pay for loss of use (i.e. a rental car). Given it's such a large repair, that amount of rental car time is going to be pretty high.

If it's your fault, I'd guess it'll raise your insurance the same either way. If anything, cutting you a check to buy a new car and totaling it is probably cheaper for the insurance company, so that should mean a lower insurance hike.
 

mazers

Member
Aug 14, 2018
195
160
Maryland
Get it totaled. Months to repair, plus rental car costs, plus diminished value claim, etc. A guy hit my 2018 LR RWD with 35k miles in January. Initial estimate was 15k, but after tear down it went to 36k and was totaled thankfully. I got EAP and FSD included in the amount the insurance company paid me. I ordered a new one in Feb and got it in March. Was the accident your fault?
 

The_Observer

Member
Feb 14, 2020
707
426
Los Angeles
Another vote for total loss. I do not want to deal with any future potential issues with damages costs this amount, but that's just me. Besides, if like you stated, if the car is operational, the salvage value of the batteries will cost quite a bit, even more if the motors are still fine.
 

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