How Much Diminished Value Do You Have?

Learn how much diminished value you can claim and how we can help you maximize your settlement.

Calculating diminished value after your car accident takes a lot of skill and experience.

Now is not the time to entrust your diminished value claim to an inexperienced appraiser who may lack the knowledge and experience to help you.

And if you choose a company that uses canned software and questionable methods, your claim will be challenged by the insurance company. And if that happens, you’re going to need a live person to help you through the process.

DVCHECK has over twenty years of vehicle valuation and insurance industry experience handling diminished value claims. We’re experts at calculating diminished value.

We specialize in helping car owners just like you document, demand, negotiate, and recover their diminished value settlement after an auto accident.

We have a simple process for determining diminished value.

The first step is to see if you are a likely candidate for filing a diminished value claim. Use this diminished value checklist to help determine if you qualify. You may be able to file a diminished value claim if the following applies to your situation.

Your vehicle:

  • Is not leased (financing/car loans are okay)
  • Is less than seven years old
  • Has less than 100,000 miles
  • Does not have a previous accident history or if it was in a previous accident, the prior damage was minor
  • Another driver was at-fault for the accident

In some states such as Georgia, you can file a diminished value claim even if the accident was your fault. We will review your claim, do a preliminary diminished value calculation, and provide you with your estimated diminished value.

If you meet the basic requirements outlined above, the next step is to request a free estimate.

While your free estimate can’t be used to submit diminished value claims, it will give you a high level estimate of how much money you’ll recover if you order our certified appraisal.

The final step is to order an appraisal. We charge a flat fee which includes your diminished value appraisal, demand letter, and ongoing negotiation assistance to help you maximize your diminished value settlement.

Request a free estimate
Diminished Value Formula

You may be wondering, is there a diminished value formula?

There are, but not any good ones.

The most well known diminished value formula is the 17c formula. Created by State Farm in the Georgia class action lawsuit, Mabry v State Farm, the 17c formula is commonly utilized by insurance companies.

Although some insurance companies utilize the 17c formula to calculate diminished value, it is not very accurate and not the best method out there.

View formula steps

Diminished Value Calculator

If you’re looking for a simple way to calculate diminished value to get a basic idea of what your loss may be, first determine the book value for your car. If the damage is minor, figure 10% to 15% of the book value and if the damage is moderate to severe, figure roughly 15% to 25% of the book value.

Most online diminished value calculators are based on the 17c formula, however, this is not a good way to calculate a car’s diminished value. The 17c formula takes 10% of the book value of your car and utilizes mileage and damage modifiers which are based on a scale.

Here’s a sample 17c diminished value calculation for a $25,000 vehicle with minor damage and 60,000 miles.

$25,000 book value x 10% is $2,500 x .40 mileage modifier is $1,000 x .25 minor damage modifier = $250 in diminished value
The 17c formula has issues such as the 10% cap and questionable mileage modifier which could be considered a double penalty for mileage (mileage was already accounted for when determining the book value).

17c formula example calculation for a $23,000 vehicle with 70,000 miles and moderate damage.

$23,000 x 10% = $2,300 base value x .5 moderate damage modifier = $1,150 x .30 mileage modifier = $345 diminished value per the 17c formula.

The 17c formula has its flaws, starting with the 10% cap. It is an arbitrary cap meant to control claim payouts.

Info highlight

The damage modifier is another flaw due to its subjective nature.

What I would consider major damage, someone else may consider moderate. In addition, there’s no evidence to support the notion that diminished value in the real world follows a linear mathematical scale relating to the severity of damage.

Most people would view an accident vehicle in the same light, regardless if the damages were $5,000, $7,000, or $7,700.

The mileage modifier is an additional flaw.

Mileage is accounted for when determining the value of the car. Assessing a mileage modifier is accounting for it a second time, a double dip.

Why? To lower the claim payout even further.

The 17c formula doesn’t take into account vehicle class or negative notations that may be present in a vehicle history report such as Carfax.

Vehicle class and Carfax notations about an accident are two factors that can have a huge impact on the amount of value that a vehicle may lose.

For example, a structural damage notation on Carfax would cause more diminished value than just an accident reported notation.

Minor paint work on a Hyundai would not have the same impact on value as minor paintwork on a Lamborghini.

Vehicle class and Carfax notations are major factors that the 17c formula fails to address.

There are other formula’s and algorithms that people have created, however, none of them have been tested for accuracy and because of that, would have a difficult time holding up in court.

Using a diminished formula is a simple method for calculating diminished value, however, using a formula to settle or prove your diminished value claim is not ideal.

How much diminished value you should expect to recover.

The newer your car the better, the more damage the better. Insurance companies tend to place a lot of emphasis on the cost of repairs when calculating diminished value.

Typically, the biggest settlements will be on claims with larger repair costs. You can still get a diminished value settlement with minor damage, but the negotiation may be a little more involved.

As a general rule, you should expect to recover 10% to 25% of the fair market value of your vehicle.

That means if your vehicle has a fair market value of $30,000, your diminished value after an accident could be as high as $7,500.

Free Diminished Value Estimate

Your free estimate will give you the confidence of knowing that you’ll recover far more than the fee you’ll pay for one of our reports.

After you receive your free estimate and get your questions answered, order your appraisal report and follow our diminished value recovery process. We’ll use the information that you provided to calculate your diminished value.

Because you’ll get a certified diminished value appraisal that uses local market values, price guides, and our many years of experience, it will be taken seriously both by the insurance company and in a court of law.

As you move through the process we’ll be there to support you and help to ensure that you recover the maximum amount of your diminished value possible. When it comes to maximizing your claim, it’s important to select an industry diminished value expert that insurance companies will take seriously.

You have a lot at stake and you are entitled to a fair and fast settlement of your car’s diminished value.