Even if you or your passengers are not injured in an accident, it can still be a very stressful time. Your car may be damaged significantly, making it impossible to drive. You may not have enough insurance to cover the cost of repairs or your accident caused your insurance company to increase premiums. Even if the insurance is sufficient, you may wonder whether fixing your car is the best option or you should consider purchasing a new one.
New Car vs. Repairs
If you were the only one involved in the collision, such as striking a deer, you have the option of whether or not to file a claim. In some cases, not filing a claim is the better option. You can pay for the repairs out of your own pocket, especially if the damage is minor. But if the damage is significant, you could be looking at a significant amount of money. Your car will have lost value after being involved in a collision, but it may have more value than you think despite the damage.
Repairing Your Car
One option is to do the bare minimum to get your car road ready again. This may mean repairs to the suspension, replacing lights or finding a used bumper to replace the damaged one. Doing this will severely diminish the value of your vehicle but could allow you to drive the car until you can either afford to fix it completely or purchase a new one. You may also pay to have the car fixed to the way it was before the accident, but this can be costly and there is no guarantee you will recoup that cost when you do sell the car.
Is It Worth Fixing?
What most insurance adjusters look at when they determine if a car is repairable or not is whether the repairs will cost as much or almost as much as the car’s value. A fender can cost $200 for the average vehicle and that does not include the labor to put it on the car. A damaged door can cost between $1,500 and $2,000 due to broken glass, electrical parts and painting. Significant damage to your car can lead to several thousand dollars in damages. If your car is an older model, it may not be worth the amount you would pay in repairs.
Loss of Value
After an accident, even if the damage is repaired so that it is virtually unnoticeable, reduces the value of your vehicle. When you trade your car, the dealership will use Kelley Blue Book and National Association of Dealer values to determine what your car is worth. Dealers are trained to find accident damage, so it is unlikely they will be unable to tell that your car has been in a collision. Because diminished value varies between vehicle makes and models, there is no set percentage that indicates just how much your car value will be reduced. However, because the car will still have value, it may be beneficial to simply sell it rather than repair it.
If your car has been in a collision, contact Elmer’s Auto Body for a free estimate to determine if it is worth repairing or you should consider buying a new car. You can reach us by phone or through the easy online form.