How To Know If Your Car is Totaled or Can Be Repaired

Two cars are damaged after colliding head on

When you’re involved in a car accident, the state of your car is not always at the top of your list of worries. Your personal health and safety and that of your passengers will always come first. But once injuries are treated or you discover that everyone’s ok, you’ll eventually have to deal with the damage done to your vehicle.

Every accident from fender benders to a full-speed collision will do some damage to your car. At that point, you have to decide whether it’s totaled or if it can be repaired at a collision shop. Here are a few ways to tell if your vehicle can be salvaged or whether it’s been totaled:

The Cost of the Repair

Often, a car is considered totaled if the cost to repair it exceeds the value of the car. At that point, it’s likely more financially viable to just scrap it and purchase another vehicle. This may also be the case if the cost to repair is even approaching the value of the vehicle.

Frame Damage

One of the biggest factors in deciding if your car has been totaled is whether or not there is structural damage to the frame. A damaged or bent frame will likely mean that the car is totaled. The frame essentially refers to any part of the vehicle that provides structural integrity of the car. Damage to the frame can make it difficult for a vehicle to protect its passengers in the event of a crash. If you really want to keep the car, the frame can be repaired, but it’s generally quite expensive.


Ultimately, the insurance company will have a major say in whether your car is totaled or can be repaired. Often insurance companies will consider the car totaled if the cost to repair is even 70% as high as the value of the vehicle. The exact percentage will depend on the insurance company.

If your car is not totaled and you need collision work in Staten Island or New Jersey, A&B Collision Center is the place to take it. We can offer you a rental car while our expert technicians work on your vehicle. Contact us at one of our three locations to learn more.