CFz Discussion Club discussions, Civic talk, and general automotive info not covered by a sub-forum.

"Total Loss" on Carfax?

Old 14-Feb-2012, 11:33 AM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Chicago
Posts: 4
"Total Loss" on Carfax?

I've come across a very very good deal on a 2003 Civic with less than 70k miles on it. The problem is that the Carfax (one owner, until dealership) shows it as having been in an accident last November that the insurance company reported as a "total loss." It was then titled in the insurance company's name, and sold at an auction. When I asked the dealer (it's too far from where I live for me to just drive over there), he said that it was just front bumper, hood, headlights. "Why report it as a total loss?" I asked. He gave me the typical dealer talk (no frame damage, car drives great blah blah) and said that when an insurance company files a claim, they often report it as a total loss. When I asked why they'd do that if the damage was probably only 10-15% of the car's value, he said "you'd have to ask the insurance company." Then back to dealer talk (apologizing for not being "able" to give me more info, etc.).

My instint is that the guy is full of it or ignorant, but I wonder... is he flat wrong? Does "total loss" on a Carfax always indicate actual total loss, or could it just be the way the insurance company filed for some business reason?

Normally I wouldn't even ask, but it's that kind of deal, so wanted to get my bases covered.
teloiv is offline  
Old 15-Feb-2012, 05:05 AM
  #2  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 31
Originally Posted by teloiv View Post
I've come across a very very good deal on a 2003 Civic with less than 70k miles on it. The problem is that the Carfax (one owner, until dealership) shows it as having been in an accident last November that the insurance company reported as a "total loss." It was then titled in the insurance company's name, and sold at an auction. When I asked the dealer (it's too far from where I live for me to just drive over there), he said that it was just front bumper, hood, headlights. "Why report it as a total loss?" I asked. He gave me the typical dealer talk (no frame damage, car drives great blah blah) and said that when an insurance company files a claim, they often report it as a total loss. When I asked why they'd do that if the damage was probably only 10-15% of the car's value, he said "you'd have to ask the insurance company." Then back to dealer talk (apologizing for not being "able" to give me more info, etc.).

My instint is that the guy is full of it or ignorant, but I wonder... is he flat wrong? Does "total loss" on a Carfax always indicate actual total loss, or could it just be the way the insurance company filed for some business reason?

Normally I wouldn't even ask, but it's that kind of deal, so wanted to get my bases covered.
Seeing as it is a 2003, the insurance company would have written the car off it it exceeded a certain value on the car book value. (Which would not be to hard because of its age). I say avoid it, what the dealer told you is a flat out lie.

Next.
ShortHand is offline  
Old 15-Feb-2012, 08:56 AM
  #3  
MPR
Senior Member
 
MPR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Where my car is.
Posts: 5,460
My previous car, a 2000 civic SiR, showed on the carfax that it had been "salvaged" twice and had been in one accident (that I know of). On top of that, I didn't know much about it's history other than it was originally a US Si model (same as canadian SiR) and came from florida by the previous owner.

All that aside, it was by far one of the best cars I have ever owned, thus far. Super reliable, never left me stranded and drove straight as an arrow. I did a lot of work on this car (modifications, aftermarket components) over the past 6 years and I knew it inside out. It was totally fine, despite it's unknown, sketchy history. If I had decided not to buy it because of it's history, I would have regretted it and turned down a perfectly good car.

So I would say at least go look at the car. Drive it and see how it feels. If it has been fixed right, it should be just fine. Try to find signs of repair to the front end under the hood. There might not have actually been THAT much damage or significant structural damage. Look at how the body panels/hood line up. If it drives and looks fine, it probably is. But don't let the sales man pressure you. Be skeptical and ask lots of questions.

Good luck.

Last edited by MPR; 15-Feb-2012 at 09:00 AM.
MPR is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Squeegen
Intakes - Headers - Exhausts
5
08-Jan-2013 10:35 PM
wek_sos
CFz Announcements + Club Support
3
31-Mar-2011 11:46 PM
imported_curlybandit
Honda Civic Performance - JDM Discussion
0
18-Jul-2007 02:25 PM
smokes99
Honda Civics (+ other) for sale
6
12-Mar-2007 12:58 PM
white92d15b7
Chit-Chat
17
03-Feb-2005 09:12 PM


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: "Total Loss" on Carfax?


Contact Us - Sitemap - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.