Will My Car’s Value Decrease After an Accident?
You may go to great lengths to take proper care of your car and protect its value. After an auto accident, no matter how minor, you may worry whether you can expect a decrease in your vehicle’s value. Tachoir Auto Body is here to answer your questions and get your damaged car looking as good as new, all while doing everything we can to protect its value. Here are some factors that determine whether you can expect a decreased resale car value.
The Repair Shop
You must choose your repair shop carefully. Reputable, well-educated and experienced auto body technicians know the techniques to make your car not only look like new but also feel like new. For instance, paintless dent repair lets technicians take care of dents without using obvious body filler or mismatched paint. When you have your vehicle appraised for its resale value, the person looking it over may not even notice the dent or the repair job. That said, the damage still appears on a vehicle report, which dealerships and individuals can easily access.
The Vehicle’s Additions
You can protect your vehicle’s overall value by not driving it much, taking care of the interior, installing valuable additions and upgrades, and taking care of regular maintenance. Even after a car accident, your vehicle may not lose as much of its value as you may expect because you took care of it and added value-boosting additions.
The Vehicle’s Age
Say that you drive your vehicle until the wheels fall off. Of course, damage-free newer vehicles with fewer miles are worth more than damage-free older vehicles with thousands of miles. When you trade-in or sell an older vehicle with over 65,000 miles, the existence of damage is unlikely to affect the offer.
Maybe you prefer to sell your car to an individual rather than a dealership. If so, the person you sell it to may not mind paying for repairs if it means getting a good deal. As mentioned above, individuals can access a vehicle report that notes insurance claims and police reports. You may as well be open about the damage, as you’re less likely to win a potential buyer’s trust if you intentionally leave out the fact that your car was in an accident or otherwise damaged.
The Type of Diminished Value
There are three types of diminished value:
- Repair-related diminished value, which relates to the quality of auto repairs. While there is an inherent diminished value from the accident, the value may take even more of a dive if the auto shop uses inferior parts or brands or mismatches the paint job.
- Immediate diminished value, which is the difference in a vehicle’s trade-in or resale value before the incident and after the necessary repairs.
- Inherent diminished value, which relates to the perception of a vehicle known to have sustained damage in an accident and undergone repairs. Even if restored to its original pristine condition, potential buyers who know about the accident know that the vehicle is not worth as much as before.
The Diminished Value Insurance Claim
Depending on your auto insurance provider, your state, and the motor vehicle accident’s circumstance, you may be able to file a diminished value insurance claim. This means your insurance company awards you the difference between your vehicle’s value before the incident and its value after repairs. Depending on your vehicle’s age, such a claim could amount to a few thousand dollars.
Say that you were not responsible for the accident and its resulting damage. If so, your insurance provider is more likely to honor your diminished value insurance claim. To determine the car’s value post-accident, most insurance companies use the 17c Diminished Value Formula. Before putting in any work to learn your car’s new value, reach out to your insurance agent to learn what process the company uses. If you still want to research your car’s value after the accident, check the Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds site for the pre-accident value and compare your findings with what a local dealership would offer as a trade-in value after the repairs.
Maybe you were involved in an accident with a driver who either did not have insurance or did not have enough to cover the extent of your damages. If you have underinsured or uninsured coverage on your plan, you could use that for your diminished value insurance claim.
What if you bear fault for the accident and damage to your vehicle? Under those circumstances, the chances of your provider honoring your diminished value claim are low. That said, your insurance company could be open to offering you some kind of deal. It never hurts to ask.
Tachoir Auto Body
Before gauging your car’s value after an accident, you must first take care of all necessary repairs. For quality results from trusted technicians, reach out to us here at Tachoir Auto Body. Call 412-233-3196 or book an appointment online.