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Repair or take insurance money?

2330 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  CowtownBallin
Hi, I've been lurking for a while, might have posted a few articles, but not much yet.

I am the happy owner of a 2001 C240 (W203) fully loaded with everything except automatic and sports package (including voice command, integrated phone, navigation, etc). The car has 45,000 miles and a one year extended warranty that I negotiated with the dealer after many repairs. I also just bought new Pirelli P-Zero Nero tires with about 2,500 miles on them. The car needs new brakes and brake rotors but that's it. It was just in for Service B about 2 weeks before the accident.

I just read the thread by hoopsmx "Rear-ended today". I'm going to take the advice posted there, get an injury/accident lawyer, etc. The damage to my car is pretty similar, maybe a little worse with a front bumper that needs to be repainted or replaced.

I don't have a final estimate from insurance, but was talking with the field inspector from AAA yesterday. The initial repair estimate was $12,000 expected to go up. They haven't stripped the car yet so there could be other problems. Looking at the front headlights it looks like some panels are out of alignment. I know the center CD is messed up, that adds about $1,000 at least. The field inspector suggested they might offer me around $24,800 for the car.

After having many things repaired on this vehicle I've grown to like it. I really have always liked my car's performance, looks and handling. I ordered it from the factory and waited 5-6 months for delivery. I never had engine problems, just problems with electronics mostly. I don't like the phone option. I was all set to start ordering some mod kits from for phone, etc now that the standard warranty has expired.

I haven't taken such good care of it. The clearcoat has some scratches and there are quite a few small dings and scratches from being around my surfboards. I was even planning to take it in to a body shop for repainting before the accident happened. The bodyshop offered to touch up some small paint chips that have started to rust while my car is in the shop. They aren't noticeable unless you really look, so it's not like the car is rusting away.

I can't even find a used C240 fully loaded like mine. If I do, I expect it's going to be $30K or more. I'm trying to decide whether to insist on having my car fixed, or buy a used Mercedes from the dealership, or take the settlement and buy a new car, either Mercedes or another brand. I like Acura for all the cool electronics, but I don't like the quality or the looks. I was drooling over the new E320 at the dealership last time I was there..... [:D]

Seeing as this is a 4 year old car maybe I should just take the money and be happy? Maybe I'd be better off getting a used C class that still has some warranty left and is in slightly better condition than my old one?

Thanks for your comments.

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hoopsmx - 3/9/2005 11:08 PM

I think the key question here is:
Is your car fully paid?

If your car is fully paid, then I'd say go ahead and take the money and use it as very good downpayment towards a new Mercedes.

If you go with the repairs, you will end up with a car that is already 4 - 5 years old (it takes months to get it repaired) and that will have no resell value. (Because of the accident and the already deteriorated state you describe).
Yep, it was paid off since the day I drove it home from the dealership. [:D]

Well, the insurance has gone back and forth. After I showed them the damage to the CD unit in the Nav system they say they want to total it. I've retained an appraiser to help me get more money from the insurance company. I spent some time at the dealer looking at lots of different cars today. I found that I still liked the "old" C240's the most. They had a few 2002 W203's for about $25-$28K, but that's without Command, Navigation, Phone, but with fewer miles than my car. I could always buy some mod parts from the folks over at I was going to order their phone kit for my 2001 anyway.

I hate to give up my "baby" but with the insurance settlement, it's kind of like getting a new car. I was getting tired of the white/beige colors in my last car, maybe time to switch to red/black, something more sporty!

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