Getting a Rental Car After an Accident vs. Buying a Replacement Vehicle

Car accidents happen all the time. Many of them are small enough that both vehicles still drive away afterward, albeit a bit damaged. Fender benders aren`t fun, but they`re better than totaling a car. If you have totaled your car or badly damaged it, you`ll need a ride home as the tow truck moves your wrecked vehicle off the road. This is the ideal time to think about your next move. You may elect to use public transportation for a while to get to and from work or the grocery store. Other options would be to get a rental car for a time or buy a replacement vehicle.

Getting a Rental Car After an Accident vs Buying a Replacement Vehicle 1

Let`s go over some cons and pros of each of those last two possibilities.

Rental Cars are Expensive

There can be no doubt that car accidents are inconvenient and disruptive. This event impacting your daily routine is unwelcome, and you`ll need to figure out how best to conduct yourself in the days and weeks after what happened. You`ll need to determine:

  • Whether your car was totaled, and whether it`s worth it to try and fix it
  • Whose fault the crash was, and whether your insurance will cover all of it

Let`s say that you`ve totaled your car. You hear back from the mechanic at the shop that the repairs would cost more to fix than what the vehicle is worth.

You elect to sell the car for a few hundred dollars. Now, you have the option of getting a rental car to drive yourself around for a time.

It`s worth noting, though, that rental cars are quite expensive. Getting one for multiple weeks is probably going to be one of the more costly transportation options available to you.

Some Car-Buying Options

Buying a replacement vehicle might sound more to your liking. If you get one, you won`t have to take public transportation, and you won`t have the considerable expense of the rental car, even for a short time. Your options are:

  • To lease a brand-new car
  • To lease a used or certified pre-owned vehicle
  • To buy a brand-new car
  • To buy a used or certified pre-owned vehicle

When looking at these options, you`ll need to take careful stock of your financial situation. Even if you have the money in your bank account for a brand-new car, it`s seldom the best way to go. New cars depreciate by thousands of dollars when you drive them off the lot.

Either buying or leasing a certified pre-owned or used vehicle might be the best move. Certified pre-owned cars are always in good shape because the car lot or manufacturer looks them over thoroughly before they put them up for sale.

If you want to buy used or certified pre-owned, though, you may have to get financing if you don`t have the money to pay all at once.

Can You Get Financing to Buy a Replacement Vehicle?

You`ll need to look at financing options, most likely through a bank or credit union. If your credit is good, then you shouldn`t have too much trouble getting the money you need.

It`s helpful if you already have an existing relationship with a banker. Some people still do, but more and more these days, individuals do online banking without ever going to a brick-and-mortar location.

Still, there is nothing to say that you can`t set up vehicle financing without ever meeting with anyone face-to-face.

Which is the Best Transportation Decision Following the Accident?

Everyone`s situation following a car accident will be different. If you learn that it`s not worth it to repair the vehicle, you might decide that you can`t afford a new car at all, and you may use public transportation for a bit. Some people shun public transit, especially if you live in a town or city where it`s scarce.

A rental car is convenient, but again, it is one of the more costly options. You might want to do a ride share to get to work for a while, like Lyft or Uber. That`s seldom a great option financially either, though.

For many people, buying or leasing a replacement vehicle emerges as their best option. If that`s how it seems for you, you`ll need to look at your money situation, figure out which of the choices we discussed sounds sensible, and take immediate steps to find a vehicle that appeals to you.

You have places to go, and you have to prioritize getting back on the road.