Interstate medians, county road ditches, action movie car chases – odds are you’ve come across a wrecked vehicle or two in your time spent on the road. Every year, there are more than 5 million car crashes in the U.S., totalling an annual economic cost of nearly $242 billion.

While a totaled car may look like it will never set tire on a highway ever again, fortunately, there’s a rigorous afterlife process that can sanction a second chance for a salvaged vehicle. From understanding the in’s and out’s of automotive recycling to knowing what to keep an eye out for at a salvage auction, here’s an inside look at what happens to a wrecked vehicle.

Determining a ‘Wrecked’ Vehicle

If a vehicle endures significant damage after an accident, insurance companies will officially determine the car totaled if the damage costs total up to 75% of the vehicle’s overall value, or above.

When an insurance company inspects a damaged vehicle and concludes that the repair costs exceed the overall value of the car entirely, that is referred to as a total loss. While there are a number of factors insurers consider when evaluating the extent of damage to a vehicle, generally mileage, age, condition, and resale value are the four primary components that decide whether a car is officially wrecked.

Salvage Yard Solution

One of the more common resolutions to a wrecked vehicle is when the owner decides to sell it to a salvage yard. Even if the vehicle can no longer run, licensed salvage yard owners will still be interested in quoting a totaled car if there are still valuable parts intact.

To assess how much money you can make off a wrecked vehicle, it’s important to hand over all the information you have for the car, such as the title, insurance assessments, condition and mileage notes, and any damage information you have. Salvage yard owners tend to specifically inspect the auto parts of a wrecked vehicle, as well as its overall weight.

Generally speaking, the heavier a totaled car, the more value it might have.

Circle Of Life

Automotive recycling is one of the more beneficial processes of salvaging a wrecked vehicle. There are over 12 million cars that wind up being recycled in the U.S. every year, including more than 25 million tons of material that’s melted down for reuse as a result of automotive recycling.

It’s estimated that around 86% of material used to build a vehicle are recyclable, specifically steel. Every year, more than 18 million tons of steel are extracted from salvaged vehicles, which goes on to contribute to the construction of bridges, fire hydrants, new vehicles, and so much more. Almost all used auto parts, whether they actually work or not, can be recycled to create new auto parts.

Seller’s Market

If the owner of a wrecked vehicle is weary about repair costs or maintenance with their car, then it might be worth looking into entering the vehicle into a salvage auction. Bidders at these events are typically motor-fiends and gear-heads, eager to take on a new remodeling project or keen on finding specific used auto parts.

Utilizing the services of a salvage yard broker is an easy way to get a foot in the door for in-person salvage auction events. There are also plenty of online salvage auction sites to look into that can easily accommodate wrecked vehicles as well.

Ask a Professional

If you’re in possession of a wrecked vehicle and unsure what to do about it, don’t hesitate to reach out for help! At Ace Auto Parts, we can help take a totaled car off your hands and offer generous compensation for doing so.

To learn more about how we can assist your salvaged vehicle needs, contact us today, or give us a call at 651-717-4299, and we’ll answer all your vehicle wreckage inquiries.