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dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/25/22 8:01 p.m.

So today I was rear ended by another car while I was driving our '06 RAV4.  With 224k on it, KBB and Edmunds place the private party value somewhere between $3900 and $5200.  We've owned it since new, no accidents (before this one), it's in good shape, I just spent $1k in parts (and many hours) on replacing the rear subframe and a bunch of associated parts last winter/spring, oil analysis comes back perfect, etc. so I feel like I could have gotten $5k for it private party prior to the accident.  Other local comps seem to back up the $5k number, as well.

After the hit, the rear bumper cover is done, my poor mudflap is gone, and there's some damage to the passenger rear 1/4 panel.  They didn't seem to hit anything terribly structural, they swerved at the last second to avoid hitting us, and their driver's side mirror hit the rear door.  It doesn't look like they hit the rear bumper support, factory hitch receiver, etc.  Very possible the rear tire/wheel took a glancing blow, as well.  The tip of the exhaust tailpipe is mangled, but I could cut 1" off and I think it would be fine.  I started to open the rear door (Toyota has a side opening door, not a hatch for some strange reason), and there was a little bit of resistance, so I stopped.  (I haven't had the car in the garage to take a real look at everything yet, but it seemed to drive fine for the 2 mile trip home.)

I know a rear bumper cover used to be around $1.5k to get it replaced/painted, and figured fixing the rear 1/4 would also run at least that.  Is there a rule of thumb as to what % of vehicle value it takes to total a car these days, and has Covid (and associated parts shortages) changed that?

I'm concerned because I think the hit could total it.  If the damage is purely cosmetic, I'd prefer to keep the car and fix it myself as opposed to having it totaled, is there a way to make that preference known?  If there's any significant body/frame damage than I'm good with having it totaled and moving on.  This is my Home Depot, dump runs, run around town, park at the airport car, and I have two teenage sons who will be driving soon (one potentially in a few weeks).  I like the size, AWD, it's relatively safe, and the fact that's it's been maintained well but isn't a show piece as they're learning to drive.

What are the hive's thoughts?

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
11/25/22 9:15 p.m.

Oh man, sorry to hear about this.

The only (hyper-local) insight that I can offer is that these things have been on my radar  for the past few years, and I don't think you'll find anything comparable in the area for five grand. They seem to hover a fair distance above book value around here.

I'd take a very close look at both the inside and outside of the D pillars and look for any deformity that might be hiding up a little higher. Don't just focus on the immediate area of impact.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
11/25/22 9:24 p.m.

The fact that they got you right about where that lower hinge is will probably be a big contributing factor in the outcome.

That looks like an expensive area to make right.

johndej
johndej SuperDork
11/25/22 9:29 p.m.

I think it used to be the ball park of every panel or part impacted was $1,500. That was true for my 05 accord and brothers 11 4runner needing rear bumpers for small taps from behind in the past 2 years. Both of us took the money and fixed ourselves with junkyard bumpers.. I'd say that number is probably closer to 2k now and echo woody to look very closely at the area above the impact. 

MyMiatas
MyMiatas Reader
11/25/22 9:30 p.m.

From my experiance it is 80% of value that a insurance company will pay to repair a vehicle.

 After driving it to a bodyshop for an estimate. Dont leave it there. Then you will have a idea of how much to repair it. Then see if you can just recieve a check from the person who hit you insurance company for the damage to your car and not run it through your insurance.  You could buy a bumper and install it. Perfect car for 16 yr oldes to drive

birdmayne
birdmayne Reader
11/25/22 10:05 p.m.

70% is industry TLE standard. 

I'd have to run the VIN, but I wouldn't be surprised to see this one being over that threshold. (Parts pricing is a big factor)

 

birdmayne
birdmayne Reader
11/25/22 10:06 p.m.

Granted my estimates are built on "insurance quality" or better. Anything we touch had a lifetime paint warranty. 

There are cheaper ways to fix things than what I'd write for this one

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/25/22 11:45 p.m.

Appreciate the feedback, everyone!  @birdmayne - I sent you the VIN via email if that helps. It's a base model AWD V6 from 2006.  It has the extra airbags and tow package as the major options.

I'll get some better eyes on it in the light tomorrow, and will be sure to check out the D pillar and the hinge on the back door.  Will also check the gaps on the passenger side rear door, I know I didn't look at it closely tonight.

On the plus side, if it is totaled, this would make a great 2GR-FE donor for the challenge.  I even have a Blackstone oil analysis from a few thousand miles ago.

Guess it's time to fix the oil leaks on the Saab, she's all ready for me to drop the oil pan :-)

Funny story, my wife's Pilot was up on ramps/jackstands waiting for me to change the timing belt when this happened.  So the first step is going to be getting that back on the ground so my wife can drive that while I'm working on the Saab.  Guess the timing belt will have to wait a few weeks until things stabilize a bit.  Always good to have an extra car (or two) around!

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
11/26/22 4:53 a.m.

In reply to dj06482 (Forum Supporter) :

To determine pre-accident value, how many miles on this Rav4? 

thedoc
thedoc HalfDork
11/26/22 5:08 a.m.
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) said:

Appreciate the feedback, everyone!  @birdmayne - I sent you the VIN via email if that helps. It's a base model AWD V6 from 2006.  It has the extra airbags and tow package as the major options.

I'll get some better eyes on it in the light tomorrow, and will be sure to check out the D pillar and the hinge on the back door.  Will also check the gaps on the passenger side rear door, I know I didn't look at it closely tonight.

On the plus side, if it is totaled, this would make a great 2GR-FE donor for the challenge.  I even have a Blackstone oil analysis from a few thousand miles ago.

Guess it's time to fix the oil leaks on the Saab, she's all ready for me to drop the oil pan :-)

Funny story, my wife's Pilot was up on ramps/jackstands waiting for me to change the timing belt when this happened.  So the first step is going to be getting that back on the ground so my wife can drive that while I'm working on the Saab.  Guess the timing belt will have to wait a few weeks until things stabilize a bit.  Always good to have an extra car (or two) around!

Sorry to ask here, but what is the wooden box used for?

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/26/22 6:49 a.m.

In reply to thedoc :

The wooden box is for the floor jack to give it the extra lifting height onto the wheel cribs.

 

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/26/22 6:53 a.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

It just rolled over 224k the other day. I edited the first post to add that info so it's there up-front. Appreciate your help!

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/26/22 10:17 a.m.

A couple of quick notes:

- The 1/4 panel behind the rear bumper cover took a pretty good hit. I'm not sure a new bumper cover would attach to that area well as-is.

- One of the (removable) interior panels covering up the emergency jack popped off in the accident, and can't be seated fully because the jack is sticking out into the passenger compartment by 1/4" on the bottom.

- The rear door and hinges look to be good. I think the source of the rubbing is the metal rear 1/4 panel

- The rear door gap on the opposite side looks good

- I could fix the tailpipe in 5 min with a sawzall, but it's going to be more expensive in any writeup

My take is that based on the damage hidden behind the bumper cover, there's enough damage there to total it.  Is that in line with what everyone else is thinking?

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
11/26/22 10:58 a.m.

Hinge area looks surprisingly good, but I think you're totaled.sad

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
11/26/22 11:04 a.m.

Also... There's an $800 Challenge roller waiting for that engine up in Windsor, if it comes to that. 
 

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/474303584454448/?mibextid=6ojiHh

 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
11/26/22 1:40 p.m.

I will say this - if they total it, give them the receipts for all the recent major maintenance. They should either add value or even reimburse those in full.

 

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones SuperDork
11/26/22 1:55 p.m.

I'd think it's totaled, but it's worth buying back, getting it close enough, and continuing to use it as a beater. 

birdmayne
birdmayne Reader
11/26/22 4:41 p.m.

Ya, that's gonna be a pretty easy total. 

That's one I'd buy back, hammer halfway in to shape and continue driving it into the ground 

thedoc
thedoc HalfDork
11/27/22 6:24 a.m.
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to thedoc :

The wooden box is for the floor jack to give it the extra lifting height onto the wheel cribs.

 

I should have realized.  Thanks for the shop tip.  That looks safer than my  method of 2 x 4's on the floor jack!

ddavidv
ddavidv UltimaDork
11/27/22 7:49 a.m.
Duke said:

I will say this - if they total it, give them the receipts for all the recent major maintenance. They should either add value or even reimburse those in full.

 

It will only add a few bucks/hundred or two, not what you paid. $500 in maintenance does not increase the resale/market value by the same amount.

It needs a quarter replacement to be made whole, so it will likely be a total even though it's a RAV4. You'll want to know what your state's requirements are for an owner retention (buy back) to see if it's worth it to you or not. Some make it easy; some make it a nightmare.

If you just want to keep it and run it into the ground you can have that conversation with the appraiser. Ask for an "appearance allowance" on the door damage (give me some money to live with it, is what this means) and whatever else you're willing to ignore. "Give me the most you can before it's a total and stop writing. I'll take that and never call you about this car again."  I've done this with folks in the past; I call them 'fantasy estimates'. Some companies have the flexibility to write these. Others, like Snake Farm, absolutely won't. That avoids the whole salvage title BS but you may not get as much in your bank account.

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/27/22 9:42 a.m.
ddavidv said:
Duke said:

I will say this - if they total it, give them the receipts for all the recent major maintenance. They should either add value or even reimburse those in full.

 

It will only add a few bucks/hundred or two, not what you paid. $500 in maintenance does not increase the resale/market value by the same amount.

It needs a quarter replacement to be made whole, so it will likely be a total even though it's a RAV4. You'll want to know what your state's requirements are for an owner retention (buy back) to see if it's worth it to you or not. Some make it easy; some make it a nightmare.

If you just want to keep it and run it into the ground you can have that conversation with the appraiser. Ask for an "appearance allowance" on the door damage (give me some money to live with it, is what this means) and whatever else you're willing to ignore. "Give me the most you can before it's a total and stop writing. I'll take that and never call you about this car again."  I've done this with folks in the past; I call them 'fantasy estimates'. Some companies have the flexibility to write these. Others, like Snake Farm, absolutely won't. That avoids the whole salvage title BS but you may not get as much in your bank account.

Thank you, that was exactly the advice I was looking for!  CT's requires repairs be made by a certified repair shop/dealer (which I'm definitely not!).  This if from their salvage title inspection form:

This vehicle has been repaired with the equipment required under Section 14-63-4b of the Regulations of State Agencies using the standards established by the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, Tech-Cor Inc., or other similar organizations including vehicle manufacturers. This is defined as:

1. Apparatus permitting four(4) point clamping to secure the vehicle while making structural repairs:

2. Electrical or hydraulic pulling equipment appropriate to the type of repair;

3. Equipment for making three dimensional measurements for both symmetrical and asymmetrical vehicles;

4. Reference guides providing dimensions appropriate to the vehicle being repaired;

5. Welding equipment meeting vehicle manufacturer's requirement's for the specific structural repair;

6. Painting equipment capable of refinishing vehicles to the manufacturer's original specifications; and

7. Equipment for applying corrosion protection to the vehicle meeting the manufacturer's specifications.

I think that process would be a non-starter for me, as there are a ton of other requirements (air bag certification from the dealer, trailer the car to an inspection, go through the inspection, and then trailer it back home).  I don't have a tow vehicle/trailer capable to towing the Rav4 to/from the inspection, so I'd have to arrange for that, which would be a pain.

If I can avoid title issues (and inspection), the fantasy estimate may be the way to go here.  I think I can make it "good enough" for a reasonable amount of money/effort, but the state inspection is another whole level of hassle that I don't see as being worth it.

There's a good local body shop I'll get an estimate from just to understand if there's some major damage I'm not seeing that would be a deal-breaker for trying to repair it.

Appreciate your feedback!

 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
11/27/22 9:51 a.m.

I'm in Ohio and do not know CT.  Here in Ohio there is no annual inspection so, here, I could drive a vehicle w/o a full rear bumper cover.  It would be ugly but not illegal.  Im not sure if things are the same in CT.  

With what you've written above about the CT hurdles of rebuilding, I think you are best off to push for the highest valuation that you possibly can and accept the "totaling."  I very much agree that a needed rear quarter panel repair will be exactly the thing that totals the car.  

Act fast, and replace the Rav4 with...Tom's rust free and fully maintained Honda Element

 

Rav4s like yours are great vehicles as are Honda CRVs and a Honda Element is a CRV with a useful box shape.  

If you're not up for the long distance purchase then there is an amazing Volvo wagon available in CT.  Do not miss!  

 

As for the totaling, start shopping for the same exact car within 200 miles of where you live.  Seek out Rav4s of only the exact same year and with mileage within 20k+ or - of your car.  Save those autotrader, and various dealership ads.  This is you doing valuation research.  Compare your research with the research/valuation that the insurance company uses.  I don't think the recent subframe replacement will significantly raise the value of your car.  Unfortunately, those were actions that moved your car back to "par" as apposed to a "sub-par" condition before.  Again, just compare your car to cars of similar condition (which is probably Very Good condition.) 
 

You should now know what it costs you to go buy the "same" vehicle today.  In that purchase, know what your state sales tax will be for the purchase and get the insurance pay-out to cover that tax also.  You will have to pay this sales tax and the only reason you are incurring the need to buy a car is due to the accident. So, it is reasonable that this tax expense is part of making "making you whole."  If your tax is 8%, it will be significant dollars for a $6k purchase.  

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/27/22 12:36 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

Great feedback - Thank You!  We don't have annual inspections, so anything flies here, with the exception of emissions testing every few years.  This car is really for my two oldest to learn to drive on, so my wife and I are pretty set that if this one is totaled, we'll replace it with another 2006-2012 Rav4.  We had the first year of the model run this time around, so she'd prefer a later version of the same thing.  I know my way around them, have a parts cache (rearview camera, CarPlay stereo ready to go in), and they're a pretty known quantity for us at this point.  I like Tom's Element, but we'll definitely need seating for 5 and we'd prefer something a few years newer.  Woody is actually local, so I've seen his wagon several times and love it.  If this car was for me, the decision would be easy!

In terms of the subframe replacement, it's the parts around the subframe that represent the majority of the cost.  I have receipts, so I figure it can't hurt.  Minus the subframe, I added $850 in new parts (new rear wheel bearings, new lower control arms, replaced all the seals in the rear differential, new parking brake cables, new backing plates (those were like $140 each).  There's probably other stuff I'm forgetting, too.  I made up a spreadsheet when I did the work, so that's easy enough to pass along to the adjuster.

I've already fired up my comp searches and have a bunch saved in the local area, with similar mileage.  I appreciate the part about sales tax, ours is 6.35% and that adds up!

Duke
Duke MegaDork
11/27/22 1:11 p.m.

In reply to ddavidv :

Hmmm. I have Snake Farm. When our second minivan was totaled, I had had a new headliner installed about 2-3 months before. The adjuster added 100% of that amount on top of the total value. It wasn't more than a few hundred bucks, but I got it all back.

I also got more value for a car that had new tires within the previous 3-4 months. That was not full value of the tires, but it was a significant portion of it.

 

ddavidv
ddavidv UltimaDork
11/28/22 7:14 a.m.

It depends on what the repair item is, how recent it was, who does the valuation (CCC, most of the time) and the insurance company. I've worked for five different ones and none have given 100% on a 'refurbishment'. Snake Farm walks to the beat of their own drum though. They also used to be more agreeable than they are presently.

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