What Really Happens After You Crash a Supercar?

Wrecked supercars take over headlines and draw attention. We find ourselves ogling thousands of dollars worth of damage to cars that most of us don’t see on our daily commute, and while we often forget about the news as soon as we hear about it, crashing a supercar isn’t necessarily the end of the road for owners or their high-end vehicles. While some go to the crusher, some can be rebuilt, and sometimes owners can buy them back from insurance with hopes of rebuilding them. No matter what the fate, it’s what happens after crashing a supercar that things get really interesting — or stressful.

Making an insurance claim

View of a damaged Ferrari after collision
View of a damaged Ferrari after collision | Feature China, Barcroft Media, Getty Images

Because of the cost of repairing many supercars, insurance companies are more likely to deem the vehicles totaled — meaning that it is going to take a substantial percentage of the vehicle’s worth to repair the damage. My Lotus Elise, for example, was totaled after a mere fender bender with the front end — all cosmetic damage that could have been resolved with some clever fiberglass bodywork and time. Another factor that insurers consider is the depreciation value of a supercar once it’s been totaled. Clean titled supercars, like your average vehicle, are worth more than a salvaged or rebuilt title version of the same car, even if it’s rebuilt with OEM parts and inspected by the state for roadworthiness.

Where do supercars go after they’re crash?

Supercars can go a few different places after they are crashed — sometimes they will be towed to a holding yard, sometimes to a shop, and, in some cases, even back to the owner’s home. The true answer is more dependent on the circumstances around the crash, how severe the crash is, and several other factors. It isn’t uncommon for many of these supercars to end up at auctions that sell damaged vehicles — most of which you need a dealer’s license to attend and participate in. In some cases, these cars can be purchased and rebuilt and, after an inspection, your state’s local DMV allowed back on the road. In severe cases, insurance companies will only issue a non-rebuildable title, meaning that you can purchase the crashed supercar, but it will never be allowed on public roads again.

Repairing wrecked supercars


Now is Not the Right Time to Buy a Wrecked Exotic Car

The fun — or headache — starts when it comes time to examine the damage of the crashed supercar and begin the rebuild process. If owners are going through their insurance company, this can mean months of examining the damage, getting quotes, and leaving your vehicle at the shop for extensive repairs. If you buy back your supercar from insurance after it has been totaled, or buy someone else’s wrecked supercar from an auction or private sale, the responsibility of the rebuild will fall on your own shoulders. This means finding a reputable mechanic or doing the DIY repairs yourself. There is a chance for many of these supercars to get a second life even after they’ve been severely damaged — and with major YouTubers making consistent content of this process, it’s become more common than ever.

Accidents involving exotic vehicles are easy fodder for headlines, but, often, that’s only the start of the story.

Basem Wasef, Robb Reports