On Patriot's Day '07, we had a huge Nor'easter. I was driving thru the marina to check on our boat. As I drove thru the large metal gate a gust of wind hit the gate & blew it into the side of my Honda Odyssey Touring. The gate, in essence, harpooned itself into the rear passenger quarter panel. I was stuck on the gate unable to move forward nor backward. I had to hike thru the storm to find some guys to help get my car loose. It took 3 large men to free my van.
If the "incident" was judged to be your fault. the insurance co. won't be writing you any cheque.
I drive old cars. Don't cost much. If they were totalled. the insurance co. wouldn't pay much.
I haven't carried collision insurance for years.
Bought a 19-year-old Mazda 323, standard tranny, good shape, a year and a half ago, $2,500.
Had an "incident" that includes appearing that I ran a red light, just about exactly a year ago. A vehicle crunched my rear wheel, driver's side, so that it tracked crookedly.
Felt that it was likely that the vehicle has a substantial number of good kilometres in it, still.
And it costs a lot of precious energy, including substantial increases in pollutants and global warming, to build
a new vehicle.
Fixed the old one - cost several hundred more than I'd paid. Plus about $200. towing fee (that I'd have had to have paid, in any case).
I felt that the extra fee, that would involve only a small amount of fabricated goods, but quite a lot of labour, was largely a contribution to reducing energy use, plus warming and pollution.
It would have made more sense to have gone out to buy another $2,500. car (but not hugely so, it seems to me). But, whether I bought another or repaired mine. I more or less paid for two cars in one year.
Another issue that no one has mentioned. if you plan to fix your own car. or scrap it and run around looking for a replacement. while going to work and doing other necessary tasks. how are you travelling?
Sticking a gun/knife in (as-of-that-moment former) friend's ribs to require him/her to drive you around?
Whichever you choose. you pay for that, as well.
If you choose to repair. and part way through it takes a while to source a part (which may happen somewhat more frequently with foreign-built cars. and somewhat more freqently if you insist on using new parts). your vehicle may be unavailable for a few weeks.
Using a rental? Additional costs.