The Nasty Surprise Waiting When You Sell or Trade in Your Car

October 3, 2022

If you’ve been involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you might be in for a nasty surprise when you sell or trade in your car.

Because your car now has an accident history, you could be in for a diminished value surprise – the shock that you’ll experience when you learn that potential buyers of your vehicle aren’t willing to pay you the same amount that they would for a similar vehicle without an accident history.

Fortunately, you’ve found DVCHECK – we’re diminished value experts and nationwide providers of diminished value appraisal reports that can help you document, demand, negotiate, and recover your car’s diminished value after an accident.

The Start of Your Troubles

Your unexpected diminished value surprise starts when your accident is reported to CARFAX or Autocheck. These companies are leading publishers of vehicle history reports and when they find out about your accident, they’ll add this to their reports.

That will put both potential private party buyers and dealers on notice about your car accident and they’ll have plenty of reservations about paying you the same amount that they would for a similar vehicle without an accident history.

When given a choice, private party buyers will choose a vehicle without an accident history over yours. Many of them will simply cross your vehicle off their shopping list and move on to another vehicle. The few who remain interested will demand a significant discount to assume the risks of buying your vehicle.

Many auto dealers will avoid your vehicle altogether – especially if it was involved in a severe accident involving structural damage and the deployment of your vehicle’s airbags. They may also stay clear of your car for liability reasons. They’ll have concerns that your car might not perform in a safe manner in a future collision and if it is in an accident, they might get sued.

Auto dealers who are willing to accept your vehicle, will significantly lower your trade-in offer by potentially thousands of dollars. That’s because they know that your car will be very difficult to sell to their customers who will demand a significant discount to buy it from them.

Last but not least, auto dealers might be able to detect your vehicle’s accident history even if it doesn’t appear in CARFAX report. That’s because they’re experts at detecting previous accident repairs and they also have gauges that are used to detect the difference between the thickness of factory installed paint compared to paint that has been applied after an accident.

What You Can Do About it

You don’t have to take the financial hit caused by your accident.

If the damage was relatively minor, take good photos of the damage and keep records of the repairs that were made. That will help you ease some of the concerns that potential buyers of your vehicle may have.

If the damage was anything other than very minor, order a diminished value appraisal report and demand payment from the insurance company of the at-fault driver in the accident.

After your diminished value recovery, you can reduce your losses even further by holding onto your car as long as possible. That will help reduce your diminished value loss over time because buyers in the market for an older car generally have lower expectations.

Act quickly to recover your diminished value or contact us with your questions.