I live in SF too. I've seen an avg looking super 74 vert a few months ago ran good and needed a new top, they were asking 1500. I thought that was low.

With out numbers here is an aproach to consider.

You need to find out what it'll take to fix it right paying some one to do it presumably=?

What you felt you could of sold it for before the wreck(be honest)=?

What you feel it could be sold for now= ?

Any insurance money you get= ?

Get a range of cost for a given condition of other verts see below. a hypothetical example
Great = 7.5k
Good = 5k
Fair = 2.5K

[Look around on Craiglist and the samba and find other verts of the same vintage and coem up with a great, good, fair condition price range. (This is subjective of course)
Great= 79 for $6900

Good=79 6000obo

Fair= 78 2500

Project If your engine's good maybe swap the best of into this its 500 needs engine otherwise would be a fair car. ]

So, if I assume there is no money coming from the insurance company and you don't have to buy your own car from the insurance company (you'll have to adjust for it if there is), then lets say my vert I felt was worth 4.5k before the wreck, I could sell it for 800 as is, or to fix it would cost 1000, and to buy one like mine would be 5000.

[Remember any money you have spent on it, minus what you get for it is a loss to never be recovered.]

[I have treid to simplify this, probably to a fault, but follow the ideas more than the math]

Ok, you also need to consider that in addition to the value of your car in terms of what you can sell it for, you should also have a good feel for its condition, and what is right and wrong with it and that has a value, a new-to-you car is always a pandoras box. Lets say we value this avoiding pandoras box at 20% (I am just grabbing a number that seems reasonable to me) of any vehicle you might buy.

So to recap, I have spent 8k total on my vert since I bought it- initial cost, taxes, repairs etc., I could have gotten 4.5k for it before the wreck, or sell it for 800 now, to fix would cost 1000, and to buy something comparable would be 5k, and I value my car an additional 1k because a comprable car is 5k X.2= 1k, thus my vert is worth really 1000+8000=9000 to me now.

1. Sell car for 800. I lose 7.2k forever, plus I valued my car an additional 1k= a net loss of 8.2k, plus 5k for a new vert, the total cost is now 13.2k to buy a 5k vert like the one before it was wrecked. -13.2k

2. Keep wrecked car. Buy a 5k car. total cost 5k (If you sell the wrecked car you have the loss in example number one. -5k (Of course you have added repairs and insurance costs and still one car with an unknown risk of future cost)

3. Buy a vert with a good body, but needs engine, swap all the good stuff from the wrecked one to the new one.
New car =1000, swap good stuff, lets say its worth 2k of stuff, 1000 for labor etc. now we have broke even. We spent -1000+ -1000= -2000, but we used 2000 worth of stuff from the wreck= 0; if we sell the wrecked car for 500, then we only lose 5.5 k of its value to us and our total cost is 5.5k. -5.5k

4. Fix car for 1000. Total loss 1000.

[This assumes that at leat one of the cars you end up with since one example results in two cars, is at least of comprable condition to yours prior to the wreck]

The idea here is to place a value not just on what you buy and sell for, but consider what you ahve already invested, consider your time shopping around, the cost of the risk of buying something unknown, the value of what you know about what you've got.

I'd think if you don't have to have a car, if this is your only source of transportation, then consider option 4 first, 3 if you want an opprtunity to make a beter car than you ahd before, I think 1 is the most costly, 2 isn't a good idea unless you want two cars.

BTW CA will buy your car if the body with VIN number is attached and has a complete powertrain for $500.

If you need a place to work on it check out:

Sorry, I couldn't sleep.
formerly 1973 Super Beetle: Bugpack quick shift, Bug pack hide a way, TMI light grey tweed seat upholstery, a decreasing amount of grey primer ;)
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My 78 VW Convertible Superbeetle is considered a total loss after being in an accident. I'm trying to determine if it makes sense to keep it as salvage vehicle. My mechanic says that the damage is an easy fix and is currently locating the right used parts. It was hit perpendicular across the back wheel and affected the engine.
The car runs well, though has rust in numerous parts and I anticipate needing a roof in the next two years, the gas meter stopped tracking last year.
Any idea what my car would be worth (low and high). I live in San Francisco CA.
Thanks, this is my first accident.
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A friend of mine had a 1975 Beetle that he barrel rolled when he fell asleep at the wheel. All four corners of the car were crunched and it was written off. After he got the settlement from the insurance company he bought the wreck back to strip for parts (I think he paid $1000). He got a great motor and the wheels and tires off that he used on his 1956 Beetle that he just bought. I guess you have to wait and see how much they want for the wreck after you get the cash for your settlement and then decide if you have enough to pit it back on the road or use it for parts.
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Hey MC, sorry but without better info/pictures I dont know what your car is worth. I do know that there is a nice 79 convert on Craigs List for $3500, and I stole my 78 convert in petaluma for $2500. I believe these are both low ball prices. If the pan/frame isnt damaged, I think you may want to consider fixing it. Let me know if you need better info. Good luck.

Measure twice; Cut once....
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Mycar is in pretty good shape and I have turned down many offers over $7-10K. It is not like they are making more of them. I always figure I won't be able to find a cnvertible that I like for what I could get for the bug, so it will never be for sale. You will probably regret it if you let it go. How much did they offer you on a total?
'79 Super Beetle Convertible, Topline Sport+ springs and disc brake conversion. SS brake lines, KYB GR-2struts and Gas-a-just shocks
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Hello All,
Thanks for your comments. You were all terrrific. Sorry it took me a while to get back on.
Here is the scoop on my noted salvaged 78 superbeetle.

Insurance will give me 4k if I let it go. I did all the math on the cost to keep it and after buy back, reregistration, inspections I'll end up with 3k. Once engine work is completed, I'll have 2.2k to get the body work done.
The car was hit perpendicular to the passanger back wheel-thus pushing the wheel across the car. (sound worse than it really is) My mechanic said no damage was done to the frame, 'the car is as safe as it was before' he said. He replaced the swing arm and the right rear wheel and axel on wheel. Hope it makes sense to you all.

It runs well, the body needs work. Is it true that the value of a salvage car is worth much less than one that doesn't say salvage? Some time in the future, I will be selling this car--but not for a while. Is it worth letting it go because of the Salvage Title?

Thanks for all your help!
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Hey MC. Sounds like you make an inteligent breakdown of fixing the car. You could have it back in the same shape (or better) than before with little or nothing out of your pocket ! Most people will be hesitant to purchase a salvage title car, so yes, technically it will be worth less (something is only worth what someone will pay), BUT to those who understand what a title salvage means (more damage than the car is rated worth) it is not necessarily a concern. I have seen it first hand; cars with major cosmetic damage and no structural/drive train damage fixed up by someone with the no how, and there is nothing 'wrong' with the vehicle in the end. Seeing that it is not hard to 'total' a bug, I bet many are salvage title by now. One game you can play with someone knowledgeable is ask them to drive/inspect the vehicle, even take it to a shop to see if they can identify ANY damage, then tell them what occurred after the inspection. This is not unethical, it allows them to believe it when they see it, and after all, you are informing them of the incident. Ok, in short, salvage title may scare the casual buyer and therefore make it harder to sell, but it wont phase anyone knowledgable although they may try to use it as a bargining chip. Personally I have purchased several salvage title cars and have not regretted any. Good luck.

Measure twice; Cut once....
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Still get the frame checked- usually mechanics don't know how to. Being old it wouldn't be perfect before the wreck, but get it checked by a reputable body shop. Also keep all documentation of the work done (body and mechanical), since you are likely to sell it to a VW enthusiast if you sell it later, they will probably consider the value of the work if you can show proof of it being done right. (I never add value to a potential buy with out proof!)I forgot in my long winded earlier analysis to consider the cost of a salvaged title against the value of the vehicle.

formerly 1973 Super Beetle: Bugpack quick shift, Bug pack hide a way, TMI light grey tweed seat upholstery, a decreasing amount of grey primer ;)
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