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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My 2005 E46 M3 convertible got rear-ended last week by a driver in a stolen car who climbed out of his wreck and bolted before the police arrived. Most body panels took damage, but the engine, transmission, exhaust, roof, all came out unscathed. Airbags did not deploy.

Insurance has just declared it a total loss and so are now deciding how much to value it at. However, before I hand it over to them, I'd like to get the hive mind's opinion.

Up until the accident, the car was clean, pristine and at 80k, fairly low mileage and came fully loaded. I bought it from the original, local owner 5.5 years ago and have the full service history.

The KBB value for a "good condition" 05 M3 convertible in the Bay Area hovers around $13k and it is as yet unknown whether the insurance company will agree with that.

If they offer substantially less, I might want to look into selling it myself, considering S54 engines alone seem to go for over $3000 on ebay. I do not have the expertise, time or space to store or part it out myself and so I'd have to sell it as-is, quickly.

What would you suggest? Where, on what platform, would I be likely to find a buyer and what could be a realistic price?
 

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Wow, sorry to see this. That's a sad sight. Looks like the Honda has rollover damage? As bad as that is, looks like it could have been much worse.

I'm no expert on E46's, but make my living parting out E39 M5's. To date I've had 69 of them and counting. Many were insurance buy backs where the owner retained possession and then sold to me for a quick profit. I'd suggest doing a buy back as there really is no downside to you and the M3 community can benefit instead of the insurance. I suspect you would have no trouble finding a buyer. I might even be able to help. All totaled cars that become property of the insurance company are required to be sold at salvage auctions. This makes for big profits for them.

The value and buy back numbers are both negotiable and I see a wide range with both. A clean 2005 with 80k is likely worth a bit more than $13k and the buy back should be 15-30% of that amount. If you don't like their first offer, ask them to go back and try again. Providing comps in your regions will help.

Good luck!
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Wow, sorry to see this. That's a sad sight. Looks like the Honda has rollover damage? As bad as that is, looks like it could have been much worse.
I think you're right. The Honda did indeed roll. It also lost one wheel completely. My wife was driving it and I wasn't there, but I suspect they were speeding and lost control well before impacting our car. With a cloth roof offering nothing in terms of protection, I think my wife and son were very lucky to have come out unharmed.

I suspect you would have no trouble finding a buyer. I might even be able to help. All totaled cars that become property of the insurance company are required to be sold at salvage auctions. This makes for big profits for them.
I realize you're on the East Coast, but if you have any contacts, or hints and tips in or around the Bay Area, that would be much appreciated. I only have it on Craigslist right now.

The value and buy back numbers are both negotiable and I see a wide range with both. A clean 2005 with 80k is likely worth a bit more than $13k and the buy back should be 15-30% of that amount. If you don't like their first offer, ask them to go back and try again. Providing comps in your regions will help.
That is helpful. I have quite a lot of photos from before the accident that ought to help show its pristine condition. I'll wait for their offer first.
 

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photos before the accident help immensely, along with any receipts on work done to the car which will elevate the value of your vehicle. definitely provide comparable examples in your area (and sometimes across the nation if it's a rare combo), and ensure you look through the valuation report item by item. they'll send you this report each time they make you an offer.

be meticulous about each point, as each one of these will alter the value of your return. dont be afraid to disagree, but at the same time try to work with the appraiser instead of going into the call in a combative state. be respectful and professional as best you can even though it can be tough (after the accident most certainly, and also after hearing stories about insurers giving low valuations), and at the end of the day, be thankful that there weren't major injuries (i hope?)

best of luck, and feel free to post updates as you hear back
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I've spoken to the adjuster a few times over the past week and the tone of the conversation has been friendly and professional. I've already provided them with a bunch of pre-accident photos and I'm cautiously optimistic that those are being taken into consideration.

I'm not after haggling them for every little detail, but I do want a reasonably accurate valuation for what I think was a very clean car. The main thing so far has been that my wife and 6yo son both walked away unharmed.

I'll keep the updates coming.
 

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I sold an 03 6 speed manual coupe for 80K for 14.5 this past fall. SMG verts are worth quite a bit less though.

That vert is definitely totaled, literally all of the unibody got tagged.
 
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