How to Calculate Salvage Value of an Automobile?

Automobile salvage value is not an exact science. Insurance companies use a variety of factors in determining the auto salvage value, including a car's make/model, pre-accident condition and extent of damage. Having an idea of the salvage car value after you've been in an accident, however, can help determine your next step. That next step may include donating the car to charity, repairing the car or parting-out an automobile.


Research the blue book value for the car's make and model. The blue book value is its retail value through a dealer and assumes the car's in excellent condition.
Step2Look up the automobile's wholesale price through the automobile blue book or NADA guide value websites. The wholesale price is also known as its trade-in value.
Step3Compute the average price between the retail and the wholesale price to determine the car's current market value.
Step4Multiply the car's current market value by the percentage used by your insurance company. Insurance companies use a percentage of the automobile's market value, for example 75 percent of the market value equals the auto salvage value. The percentage varies from company to company. Contact your insurance company directly to determine the percentage it uses.

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