Accidents happen, it’s an unfortunate fact of life, especially on the road. Hopefully they’re minor ones, but unfortunately even minor accidents can have a serious detrimental effect on your car’s value. How do you figure out how much the value has decreased? This article will explain.
Types of Damage
The devalue of damages to a car are usually directly proportional to how expensive they are to fix. The easiest to fix and therefore the type with the least detrimental effect on the cars value is minor damage: Dings and dents in the paint, burned out lights, tears in the upholstery. This damage will decrease a car’s value, but it’s superficial and easily fixed with some time and patience.
Major damage on the other hand will require a much more significant investment to fix: problems with the engine, Bodywork that needs replacing, broken brakes. Damage that needs a mechanic’s hand to fix, and may make the car unsafe to drive are a much more significant problem.
Beyond these you have the rare occasions where the car is a total write-off, where after a collision the actual integrity of the car has been compromised and it is unfixable. Unfortunately at that point the car is worth more as scrap metal than it is as a car.
Should You Fix It?
The obvious temptation when you have a damaged car is to fix the damage. It seems simple, if you fix the damage then the value will go back up right? Not necessarily. For anything in the minor damage category the answer is probably yes, but for anything in the major category the answer is a firm “maybe”.
Once your car has been in an accident it’s permanently marked in the vehicle history. Whether you get the car fixed up or not it’s still going to have a negative effect on the car’s value. Fixing it will still increase the value from where it is damaged, but maybe not enough to compensate for the loss of value.
If you fix up a car with major damages with the intention of selling it, then you could end up paying more to fix the car then you can reasonably get from selling it fixed, leaving you at a net loss. So in many instances it’s better to just try and sell the car in its damaged state.
It’s not all bad, there is one avenue you can take, as long as you’re 110% sure that the damage wasn’t your fault. You can go to your insurance provider and make a claim on the difference.
They’ll calculate a cars value after an accident compared to before and hopefully give you the difference back, of course they’ll be looking for any reason not to give you the money so go in prepared.
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