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Can a Car Accident Lower Your Resale Value?

Categorized as Auto Accidents

If you’ve been in a car accident, one of the last things on your mind might be how it will affect your trade-in value. The reality is that any type of accident could impact resale value, even a minor fender bender.

For example, you may have been rear-ended by a distracted driver while stopped at a red light. You filed a claim with your insurance and paid the deductible. Later, you decided to trade in your car for a 2016 model and discovered the dealer will not give you the blue book value.

This scenario happens more often than many motorists think. Regardless of who is at fault, a car that has been in an accident will command a lower resale value. Even if it looks like new after repairs, the perception of quality among used car buyers will be negatively impacted.

A record of the accident will show up in a Carfax report for anyone who might be interested in buying. Car dealers typically reduce the trade-in amount by 10 to 30 percent, depending on the severity of the damage.

What Will Influence Trade-In?

Below are some factors that affect resale:

  • Major Damage – If a vehicle has been severely damaged, expect to receive less when you sell the car. If a police report was filed and/or you repair the damage through your insurance, the accident will be reflected in your car history.
  • Cosmetic Damage – If your vehicle has visible cosmetic damage like dents, the dealership will still probably offer less. However, if you have quality repairs done to the car, you may be able to sell easily and with less impact on the trade in value.
  • Salvage Title – If your vehicle was totaled and needed to be rebuilt, your car will be stuck with the salvage title even after repairs. With a salvage title, it may be challenging to sell since most dealers will not accept vehicles with this title.
  • Vehicle Age – The newer the vehicle, the more likely trade in value will be reduced. Older cars have depreciated so the value will not be impacted as much.

If you have been injured in a car accident, an experienced attorney can help you recover compensation. Contact Peterson & Associates, P.C.™ today for a free consultation.