- 1). Research your car's fair market or "blue book" value. With the year, make, model and mileage of your car, research its fair market value. Kelly Blue Book -- the largest automotive vehicle valuation company in the U.S. as of 2010 -- is available in an online and print version.
- 2). Deduct the salvage value, which typically is 10 to 50 percent less than the value of an identical car in the same condition with a clean title, according the All Experts and Auto Appraiser websites. However, this percentage relates to a "salvage title" from a physical damage or impact-type claim and not from a total theft-strip insurance claim.
- 3). Deduct 10 to 20 percent if the salvage vehicle is branded as such from a theft.
- 4). Consider the age of the vehicle. According to the Auto Appraiser website, "Any vehicle that is more than 10 years old carries at least the 10 percent minimum devaluation to the fair market value of the vehicle, if not more."
- 5). Report the vehicle as "salvage" to the state's department of motor vehicles as well as your insurance company, which may cause your rates to change as a result of your vehicle's damaged condition.
- 6). Complete the necessary safety inspections for the vehicle as required by state law, which varies. This step is compulsory if you intend to drive or sell the salvage vehicle.
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