A big concern that people have about collision repair is what will happen to the value of the vehicle afterwards. Well, long story short, the answer is an accident automatically lessens the trade-in value of your car. However, there are degrees of depreciation.
What Factors Into the Lost Value
There's no easy way to predict how far your trade in value will drop. There are a lot of factors involved, and some of them are very arbitrary and even contradictory.
The nature of the damage – The type of damage done to the car can factor into how much value the car loses. Some damage looks far worse on a car history report than others. Replacing a fender and restoring a full frame are two different things.
The fact there was an accident – Sometimes, you just can't win. Many dealers will take a heavy percentage off your trade-in value no matter what kind of damage your car suffered. Even if an accident only led to scratched paint, it can still lose as much value as an accident that required a drastic rebuild.
Who is doing the buying – Not all dealers or private buyers will adhere to a valuation or history report. Some will base the devaluation on other factors, but are willing to let some things go.
For example, a buyer or dealership may very well take a car that only went through a small cosmetic fix if they think they can still resell it a good price.
What You Can Do About It
There's not much you can do about it, but there are some things you can do to mitigate the devaluation.
Seek a diminished value car insurance claim – Many people don't know that they can make a claim against an insurance company for the diminished value of a car. This only really works if you were not at fault for the accident. However, it doesn't hurt to pursue such a claim regardless.
Shop around – As stated, not all buyers and dealers use the same criteria for a car's value. Shop around and see which will give your car the most value.
When dealing with a private buyer, just be honest. Remember that even after a repair, a good car is still a good car. Many people will feel that you're giving them an excellent deal if you're selling below value.
Go to a reputable auto body shop – You need an auto body repair shop that uses OEM parts. You need one that really can restore your car to like new condition. Contact local shops, like Central Body Co Inc, to find one that will work for you.
While your car will still lose value, it won't lose as much. No matter what a history report shows, a car that looks good and works well still can command a good price.
Yes, a collision repair will lower your car's value. But sometimes, that doesn't matter as much as you think. A lot of it has to do with how you present your vehicle to interested parties. You can still get a good price.