Gilbert, Arizona Sales: 833-456-4185 Customer Service: 833-959-0256
Co Springs, Colorado Sales: 855-978-6276 Customer Service: 833-959-0254
Windsor, Colorado Sales: 855-624-7770 Customer Service: 833-959-0260
Boise, Idaho Sales: 844-635-2408 Customer Service: 833-869-9985
Post Falls, Idaho Sales: 833-653-0118 Customer Service: 833-959-0259
Omaha, Nebraska Sales: 833-842-8409 Customer Service: 833-959-0253
Las Vegas, Nevada Sales: 855-975-4595 Customer Service: 833-959-0257
Houston, Texas Sales: 833-344-0751
Draper, Utah Sales: 833-557-1432 Customer Service: 833-959-0255
Lindon, Utah Sales: 855-975-4490 Customer Service: 833-959-0258
Woods Cross, Utah Sales: 855-996-5822 Customer Service: 833-945-2140

What is a Total Loss Vehicle?

Woman with clipboard evaluating a car

A total loss vehicle has undergone an insurance incident and been deemed to have less residual value than the cost of repairs. In some cases, the maze of insurance regulations means that even vehicles that would cost less to repair than they’re worth can be deemed a total loss. To make matters more complicated, most insurance agencies have completely unique protocols for deeming cars as a total loss — and if that wasn’t enough, each state has its own insurance laws.

What’s the key takeaway here? There are a lot of perfectly good vehicles sitting in salvage lots for reasons that only lawyers will understand.


Where Does AutoSource Fit In?

At AutoSource, we scour salvage lots across the Southwest and find vehicles that have been deemed a “Total Loss” by insurance agencies. We then restore them to excellent condition and sell them to drivers in Salt Lake City and all over the country. Restored Total Loss vehicles are one of the best ways to save on high-quality vehicles.

Read on to learn about how a vehicle is deemed a total loss. We think you’ll be surprised by just how many of the rules of what determines if a car is a total loss are purely bureaucratic. If you want to learn more, reach out. Whether you’re from Denver, CO or Las Vegas, NV, there’s likely an AutoSource dealership near you, ready to help you save big on total loss vehicles in great condition!


What Factors Determine if a Vehicle is a Total Loss?

As we mentioned earlier, how a vehicle is determined a total loss can be very complicated due to both state regulations and insurance agency policies. The unifying principle is that the cost to repair a vehicle has exceeded its total value. That said, there are plenty of exceptions.

Say that you’re driving an older vehicle, you get into an accident, and the cost of repairs make up 75% of the vehicle’s value. Many insurance agencies will go ahead and total this car. That’s because each state has specific laws about the allowable loss of value a car can experience before it’s designated a salvage title vehicle. This is called the Total Loss Threshold. Because of this factor, insurance agencies will add the Total Loss Threshold (legal salvage value) to the cost of repairs to see if it is greater than the actual cash value of the car. If it isn’t, the vehicle is “totaled.”

Cost of Repair + Salvage Value > Actual Cash Value

As we mentioned, previously, there are many “totaled” vehicles out there that are driveable, and cost-effectively repairable in the right hands. That’s where AutoSource comes in.

We efficiently and effectively restore total loss vehicles to excellent condition and pass the savings onto you and your family in the form of a safe vehicle that will last you for years to come.


Come to AutoSource to Take a Test Drive

Now that you know what a total loss vehicle is and what determines if a car is a total loss, you can explore our inventory of branded title vehicles, fill out a pre-approval, or contact us online with any questions. Have questions unrelated to how a vehicle is deemed a total loss? We can answer those too. You can also explore our library of helpful guides on popular topics about branded title vehicles. We cover everything from the types of hail damage to everything you need to know about rebuilt titles and more!

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