How much does an accident Devalue a car?

Written by Danny Collins
Last updated: July 6, 2023
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When purchasing a used automobile, it’s important to know how much an accident devalues a vehicle. In the UK, accidents decrease a car’s value by up to 50%. If you’re buying a used car in an accident, you should expect to pay less than you would for a model that hasn’t been damaged. This blog post will provide more information about how accidents devalue cars and offer tips on getting the best deal when buying one.

Many individuals in the market for a used car make a purchase they regret. Though these vehicles may seem like an excellent deal – often new models being sold well below the standard rate – buyers rarely think about how much an accident devalues a car. As such, they frequently buy cars that are not only unsafe but also difficult to resell down the line.

In short, accidents significantly devalue cars–the drop in value can be much bigger than the repair costs. Let’s see some of the causes.

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Accident History – A Key Factor In Determining The Liquidity Of A Car

Many people mistakenly believe that only the cost of repairs impacts a car’s value after an accident. However, there are many other “hidden costs”, such as loss of resale value, which can make it difficult to sell a car for a reasonable price post-accident.

It’s not just the cost of repairs that you need to consider when assessing how much an accident devalues a car. Insurance companies also factor in the accident’s severity when determining the claim’s value. If your car is damaged, it may not be easy to sell. Here are three reasons why:

1. The extent of the damage is unknown

It is hard to sell an automobile when you do not have full information about the accident or the damage. Many people are afraid of buying a “lemon” – a car that was in an accident and is not running well because of hidden damage.

In short, a car with past damage is more likely to have issues in the future– something any potential buyer should be aware of when considering purchasing a damaged car. According to Car History Reports, you can see which part(s) of the car was damaged and how much it cost to repair those damages. If repairs reached five figures, you know the damage was not just a surface scratch.

2. It remains unknown how effective the repairs were

Even if you fully understand the accident and the damage, it isn’t easy to know how well the repairs were completed. It is very common for insurance companies to choose the cheapest repair option rather than the best one. As a result, many cars that have been in accidents are not repaired to their pre-accident condition. Below are several prime examples of bad repairs:

  • Missing airbags can be a serious safety hazard, and replacing just one may cost over a thousand dollars. Unfortunately, some sellers try to bypass the system by installing resistors to disable the airbag light on the dash. 
  • Instead of being replaced, damaged panels are often overlooked with the hopes that they will go unnoticed. However, this not only alters the aesthetic value of the car but can also lead to safety concerns down the road.
  • Corrosion can occur in flood-damaged cars if they are not properly dried and cleaned.
  • Structural damages cannot be repaired and must, in less severe cases, be replaced or straightened out.
  • A bad paint job will jeopardise the integrity of your steel body parts by opening them up to corrosion and sun damage.

3. Cars that have been damaged severely are tough to get insured

Not all vehicle insurance companies are willing to insure cars that have been in accidents. Some will offer limited coverage or higher premiums. This is because they view accident-prone drivers as a greater risk. It can be difficult to find insurance for a car in an accident.

The best way to avoid these is to buy a car that has never been in an accident. However, if you buy an automobile that has been in an accident, get a full history report to know exactly what you’re getting into.

Car History Check – Its popularity has made it harder to sell cars with damage in the future

For years, sellers of used cars have been ripping off naive buyers by manipulating mileage readings and covering up damage. However, potential buyers can steer clear of these scams by running a vehicle history report to check for concealed accidents.

Car history checks are becoming more popular in the UK. This is because they provide buyers with detailed information about a car’s past. For example, a car history check will reveal if an automobile has been in an accident. As a result, it is becoming more difficult to sell cars that have been in accidents. This is because potential buyers can easily find out about the accident and may be less likely to buy the car.

How Do I Minimize Losses If I Have Damaged My Car?

If you have damaged your car, there are a few things you can do to minimise losses:

  • Get a full history report. This will help you understand the extent of the damage and how much it will cost to repair.
  • Find out if the technician did the repairs properly. If they were not, you might have to pay for additional repairs.
  • Find out if the car is still covered by insurance. If not, you will have to spend some money on repairs.
  • Try to sell the car as-is. This will help you recoup some of your losses.
  • Consider donating the car to a charity. This is a good option if the car is not worth repairing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What depreciates your car’s value the most?

Structural and engine damage are the most expensive to fix and often result in your car’s biggest drop in value.

Can you clear the car’s history of any damage reports?

Once a car has been in an accident, the record will always stay in the car’s history.

Is it a good idea to purchase an automobile that’s been in an accident?

Always get a car that’s been in an accident checked out by a professional to ensure they fix the damages correctly.