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    View Poll Results: What is the price you would expect to see on this car?

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    • Under $2000

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    • $2000-$3000

      2 28.57%
    • $3000-$4000

      4 57.14%
    • $4000-$5000

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    • $5000-$6000

      1 14.29%
    • $6000+

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    Results 1 to 18 of 18

    Thread: My insurance company is fighting me on the value of my Passat

    1. 10-04-2012 01:05 PM #1
      Has anyone dealt with this? Some idiot clipped my rear bumper and tore a 1" hole in the wheel well liner, the bumper support and bumper. My insurance company claims my car is totaled (see photo) because the repair is more expensive than the value of the vehicle.

      Why I disagree.

      1st it's a 1 owner car, a vortex owner, and it's been meticulously maintained.
      2nd I just installed a K04 kit in April 2012 including software, FMIC and Genuine Borg Warner K04
      3rd yes it has high mileage(231,000), but I had the compression tested before I invested in an aftermarket turbo kit, all cylinders 160-165psi
      4th New continental DWS 225/50/16 tires
      5th Factory speedline wheel that was scratched in the accident had never been curbed in 13 years.
      6th check out the full custom turbo gauge install. I wired the electronic boost gauge into the center of the instrument cluster behind the clear plastic. Since my car is a manual it had no LED screen there and I put in connectors (ethernet) to the back of the cluster so that it is still removable without cutting wires in case other service is needed. Looks stock.
      7th every single item gets addressed immediately. Little things like when doing an oil change I always clean around the oil fill cap before adding oil to prevent dirt from entering the motor.

      The Insurance company claims it's worth less because it's a manual and considers the K04 upgrade "routine maintenance" so no credit for that at all.

      So, if you saw this car for sale as you see it in the photos what would you expect to see for the price?

      1999 Passat GLS 1.8t AEB (big valve head)
      231,000 miles
      clutch at 160,000
      Timing belts and tensioners at 82 and 160k
      K04 turbo kit with software installed in April 2012
      running appx 17psi peak boost
      has lots of paint chips on the hood and some minor dents and scratches you would expect from 231,000 miles. Never been in a collision, nothing structural and interior is immaculate.


    2. 10-04-2012 01:11 PM #2
      Other upgrades.
      Spec stage 2 clutch with new factory dual mass flywheel
      New illuminated shift lever and new leather boot
      CD changer
      roof rack
      K&N filter
      APR diverter valve
      New half shaft in 2012
      New window controller in 2012
      Spare set of factory wheels with snow tires installed

      Only defect, cruise control does not work.

    3. Member scotts13's Avatar
      Join Date
      Feb 15th, 2007
      Lehigh County, Pa.
      2004 GLS 1.8T
      10-04-2012 01:32 PM #3
      The insurance company is giving you (from their point of view) correct information. The retail value (to a normal shopper) of your car is probably in the $2000 - $2200 range; and they usually calculate it as totaled if repairs exceed roughly 75-80% of that. "Correct" repair procedure for the damage you list could easily be $1500.

      The upgrades mean nothing except to a very specific type of customer who would want those exact upgrades AND trust your skill in installing them. Generally, anything not factory decreases the value. Manual transmission IS a negative except for enthusiasts.

      The dents and paint chips, as well as the broken cruise control, cost you quite a bit.

      You have a few choices. If any of the repairs (like the half shaft, not upgrades) were done in the last year, and you have the receipts, you can probably boost their quote by a percentage of that. It may be enough to push it out of "totaled".

      You can withdraw the claim and fix it yourself. With used parts, your own labor, and a bargain re-spray of the replacement bumper, you could possibly get it fixed for less than the typical $500 deductible.

      Or, you could accept the quote, buy back the car, THEN fix it yourself - (and live with a salvage title).

    4. 10-04-2012 01:48 PM #4
      Thanks, but that was not my question. I know how insurance companies work. They look at NADA and other sales for average sold prices. My point is that this is not an average vehicle and the "adjustments" do not work. I did my own search and could not find a similar car for under $3900 and that was before any K04 upgrade, and not in as nice of shape. I even test drove one for $8000 (with half the mileage) but I would not have traded my car for it because it was a 3 owner car, and mine had more power/better mileage.
      The "Value" is not determined by a book, it's determined by what people are willing to pay. This is why the comps are skewed, there are not enough manual transmission sales for excellent condition cars to come up with a real value.

      I was asking, what price you would expect to see on this car in this condition (near perfect inside and excellent mechanical)
      If you can show me where one similar has sold for under $3000 I would love to see it because I can't find it. Everything around here in that price range has a dead motor, or bad transmission or some major issues, and they are still asking over $2000

      BTW, the comps have to be MANUAL transmission because the car has reached the age and mileage where the manual is worth more than the automatic in terms of repair cost and longevity, and the die-hard VW fans who want the performance upgrades don't want the automatic.

      So if I put this car on Craigsist, what would you think is reasonable to ask. The closest one I have found around here without any upgrades was $5700.

    5. Member Harold's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jul 31st, 2000
      New Hampshire
      2004 VW Passat 4Motion
      10-04-2012 01:52 PM #5
      No offence, but the insurance company could care less about your "upgrades" or repairs, the minute you put parts on a car they are "used" just like your car, ( most of the time no additional value). Unless you modified your insurance to agreed value or let them know about the higher value of the car now (with increased rates, I'm sure).

      In 2000 my parents avoided having their mint 1986 Audi 5000s ( w/ only 120k miles) declared salvage. The ins said XXXX amount for new door plus paint and install would be more than the value of the car. I got my parents a used door from a recycler, painted and installed was less than what would be to have it totaled.

      Insurance company is only looking to see what is the cheapest option for them to go with and get it settled quickly . It's up to you to provide a cheaper alternative ( with used parts) than what they are proposing.

      If they undervalue the car, search for similiar cars for sale and provide pics or links. This may get you up some on value, don't expect miracles.
      2004 Passat 4Mo, 1.8T, stick
      past: '96 Audi S6, forced to sell, F. U. nh emissions
      '87 VW Quantum syncro wagon, got me into quattro
      '85 VW GTI , 17 yrs and 280k miles, rusted away

    6. 10-04-2012 02:03 PM #6
      I know they are out to save as much money as possible. The trouble for me is trying to find excellent condition cars at 231k miles even without the upgrades.
      Realistically, if I had the choice between a car with 120k or 250k, it would depend 100% on condition and repair records. The one at 120k could be trashed and on the original clutch and timing belt and worn tires. While the one at 250k could have a fresh timing belt, clutch and new tires. How does the mileage come into play in a state where there is no vehicle rust? Sure, it's an issue in some places, but not here.

      I have the feeling I'm going to lose the battle, but if anyone could provide me with just one comparable sale of a car similar to mine I would be a bit happier about losing.

      FWIW, it was a hit and run, the A$$%&$% fled the scene and there is an impound order out for his car because i got the license plate.

      Anyone have an excellent condition Colorado red rear bumper for sale? The above photo is actually post accident, but there is a 1" hole on the other side at the wheel well.

    7. Member scotts13's Avatar
      Join Date
      Feb 15th, 2007
      Lehigh County, Pa.
      2004 GLS 1.8T
      10-04-2012 02:10 PM #7
      evlgreg - Unfortunately, what you can find and would want to buy are not the insurance companies initial concern. They go from a guidebook just as you say, and (when I looked them up) the publicly available versions of the NADA and KBB are well under $3000.

      If you've got detailed, local, recent, SELLING (not asking) comps, take them to the agent and negotiate. No deal is ever final; I recall spending all summer rebuilding an Audi which the wife then promptly totaled. Insurance company offered $1500; after some rather intense negotiation from me, we settled on $3300.

    8. Member scotts13's Avatar
      Join Date
      Feb 15th, 2007
      Lehigh County, Pa.
      2004 GLS 1.8T
      10-04-2012 02:16 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by evlgreg View Post
      How does the mileage come into play in a state where there is no vehicle rust? Sure, it's an issue in some places, but not here.
      Because. Because the automotive industry has collectively decided that's a major factor in condition, and they're not entirely wrong. Miles means wear, wear leads to expense. Your "not here" does bring up a salient point, however. Prices/values vary regionally. When I looked at the price guides, I defaulted to the Northeast, because that's where I am. If you're in Los Angeles, the value would be a bit higher. Bismarck, lower.

    9. 10-04-2012 04:11 PM #9
      Unfortunately, on my car, the mileage is a benefit that the insurance company does not recognize. I have already been through every possible recall or defect and had them all replaced or upgraded. Window controllers, glovebox, trunk struts, Ignition control, airflow, diverter valve, wastegate, oil coking, tie rod ends, control arms, timing belt tensioner, etc.etc.etc. have all been addressed and upgraded. I would much rather get a car with these items fixed than buy one with 100k miles and have to do them all over again.

      Someone tell me they sold a high mileage Passat in Denver for $4k please.

    10. Member scotts13's Avatar
      Join Date
      Feb 15th, 2007
      Lehigh County, Pa.
      2004 GLS 1.8T
      10-04-2012 04:54 PM #10
      I love keeping cars as long as possible. Unfortunately, I've had to resign myself that after a certain point, you must keep the car forever, or take a horrific loss. Last year, I sold my 2000 GLS 1.8T (automatic). Like yours, it had been perfectly maintained; unlike yours, the paint and bodywork were also perfect, made that way at great expense. Completely stock (and the cruise control worked). 240,000 miles, BTW. The best I could get, after several people looked at it and made offers, was $2700. And that was a newer car, sold a year ago.

    11. 10-05-2012 07:55 AM #11
      Unfortunately, you are stuck with fair market value. Only way to get more than that, is to provide receipts of your mods. When my car burned a couple of years ago, they came back with a completely ridiculous value number. I laughed at the adjuster and told him to call me back when he serioused end up a bit. Not only have I provided him with online documentation of fair value from the interwebz, but I also provided him a stack of receipts from the last 365 days...most of which was from the wheels, tires, and suspension I had just installed two months prior. Came back with a number over $1000 more. I took it because I wouldn't have been able to get that amount if I had sold the car outright.

      So, if they are giving you a low amount amount, put the car back to stock and either save the parts for another B5 or part them out.

      Also, if that car is going bye bye, please give me a price on your lower front bumper grilles. I need them

    12. 10-05-2012 02:58 PM #12
      Hi all,

      Well against all "common logic" I'm going to maintain that a manual transmission of this age retains more value than an automatic of this age. Someone that knows the K04 and the car would not likely be searching for the auto version.

      New question. I'm considering getting a newer 1.8t with half the mileage. Should I take off my K04 that has 2000 miles and bolt it onto the newer car? The K03 on the newer car has over 100k miles. Two full turbo swaps as preventative maintenance seems like a ton of work. It might just make more sense to buy another new K04 when the K03 starts to go bad.


    13. 10-05-2012 03:00 PM #13
      911, BTW I did provide them with receipts for all the current mods (turbo, software, install kit, etc.) They increased the value of my car $100 and decreased the salvage value $50.

    14. Member
      Join Date
      Mar 4th, 2012
      03 Passat AWM, previous B4 Passat, previous Mk3 GTI
      10-05-2012 05:02 PM #14
      Why not just withdraw your claim and fix it? Why was it claimed in the first place?
      "My timing belt is like all shredded on the edges...is that normal?"

    15. 10-05-2012 07:28 PM #15
      I made the claim because it would be at least $1500 out of my pocket to fix it right. I carried full coverage on the car for 13 years because I thought if this came up, they would be more cooperative.
      As of right now, the insurance company will let me "buy back" my own car without a salvage title, which will allow me to sell it "as-is" (the photos are "as-is) So I think my best option is to accept a settlement for the totaled amount, then clean it up a bit and sell it on craigslist. Take all the funds and put them toward a replacement vehicle.
      I really hate to sell my car, I was shooting for 250,000 miles All I need soon is a timing belt and I think I could make 300k with no problem.

    16. Member
      Join Date
      Mar 4th, 2012
      03 Passat AWM, previous B4 Passat, previous Mk3 GTI
      10-05-2012 10:33 PM #16
      This is why I'm not full coverage.

      How much did they give you for the claim
      "My timing belt is like all shredded on the edges...is that normal?"

    17. 10-05-2012 11:13 PM #17
      Your insurance company sucks.

    18. Member
      Join Date
      Nov 16th, 2009
      North Carolina
      1998 VW Passat 1.8t, 2000 Toyota Progres 2.5l I6
      10-13-2012 11:22 AM #18
      Why not just take the $2500-3000 and go with it? Your car will be worth less next year, and the next, and the next, and the next. It's not about what YOU think the car is worth and what YOU put into it. Because the car will have a salvaged title means nothing, just take pictures of the damage now, have it repaired, and then keep whatever you have left in your pocket. If you decide to sell your car, you'll never get beyond $2500 for a car at that mileage and age as someone will be spooked by it. Maybe a VW enthusiast, but how often does that come around? My family bought a 1998 Passat 1.8t AEB at 188,000, new timing belt, tires, yada yada yada for $1800 and the car was meticulously maintained, single owner, even with receipts from the first oil change... For you this is more about what YOU think the car is worth, just let it go, it's 13 years old, it's not like you can't still enjoy it because suddenly the title now says "Salvage" on it. A bumper, paint, wheel liner, and bumper supports can all be had for less than $300-400 if you're looking for used. If the wheel is that bad from some rash, rotate it to the rear right of the car and you won't see it (that's what I did with some old beat up Speedlines I had.)
      Last edited by vbora01; 10-13-2012 at 11:25 AM.

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