Unfortunately, vehicle accidents cannot always be avoided. Even if your driving is impeccable, there will always be the possibility of disaster. As long as no serious injuries have occurred, the first priority after an accident will be vehicle repair. Unfortunately, being involved in a major collision can lower the market value of your car. This is fair because damaged goods are always worth less, even if they have been repaired. Still, there are ways to bring that value back up again. With that in mind, let’s discuss some ways to enhance your vehicle’s value after an accident.
How Does A Collision Lower A Vehicle’s Value?
Naturally, any major accident (and most minor ones) need to be reported to your insurance company. In turn, that insurance company will file a diminished value claim in response to a collision. This claim is simply a note on the vehicle’s official history stating that it was involved in an accident.
There are three different types of diminished value claims:
- Inherent: This claim is made when the vehicle has been properly fixed and restored to its pre-accident state. A slight value loss occurs here because things are no longer original and pristine.
- Immediate: This is a claim that usually won’t be filed if the vehicle is fixed in a timely fashion. It signifies a large and immediate value reduction due to damage sustained in the accident.
- Repair-Related: This claim is used for value losses that result from bad repair jobs.
Now then, let’s talk about some of the ways in which you can bring that value up again.
1. Make Sure All Repairs Are Done Correctly
Obviously, you want your diminished value claim to be an “inherent” one. These claims generally have the lowest reduction, and they only require that the vehicle is properly repaired. Make sure that the body shop and all its mechanics are certified to work on your type of car, and make sure that they have a good track record. It’s also important to use OEM parts wherever possible. If everything is done right, it shouldn’t be that hard to get your damage claim placed in the least harmful category.
2. Consider Some Upgrades
Vehicles are always worth more money when they are in their original state. However, once major repairs have been done and parts have been replaced, your vehicle will no longer be in that original state. The upside of this is that you can go ahead and upgrade the vehicle in any way you might like. Upgrades will generally increase the value of any vehicle. Examples of value-raising upgrades might include:
- New tires and/or rims
- A new paint job
- Better headlights
- Leather seats
- Spoilers, trim, running lights, and other cosmetic improvements
- Engine improvements or a better engine
3. Get An Appraisal
Most auto shops will be willing to appraise your vehicle for a small fee. This simply means that they will thoroughly check the vehicle for any problems. They will also take various factors into account to determine an approximate market value for the car. While an appraisal may not immediately raise your vehicle’s value, it will verify its existing value and help you to keep from getting “low-balled” when it’s time to negotiate the price with a potential buyer. In addition, the appraiser can probably suggest some effective ways to raise your vehicle’s value.
4. Documented Regular Maintenance
The condition of a car makes a huge difference in its value. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to verify the condition of some vehicles if the owner hasn’t kept good records. You should keep a record of every repair that is done on your vehicle, even if it’s just routine maintenance like changing a spark plug or changing the fluids. When it’s time to sell the car, you can show those documents to a potential buyer as proof that the car has been regularly maintained.
5. Add New Safety Features
Instead of upgrading your existing features, you can opt to add new ones. In particular, older cars usually won’t have the same safety features that you see on newer models. For some buyers, a thing like that can make a big difference. That’s why it can greatly increase the value of your car to equip it with better safety systems.
6. Get The Vehicle Detailed
Because we spend so much time inside of them, many vehicles have a tendency to get dirty. Whether it’s trash on the floorboard, spilled coffee in the console, or animal waste in the backseat, it needs to be cleaned. Stains and other such wear will reduce the car’s value without a doubt. Thankfully, these issues are easy to fix with a routine detailing job, which can raise the value by a moderate amount.
There is no reason to worry that collision repairs will kill your vehicle’s resale value. When things are handled in the appropriate way, you can keep those value reductions to a minimum. Using the methods on this list, you might even be able to increase the value beyond pre-accident levels. But, we hear you asking, “where can I find the best auto body shop near me?” The answer is Elmer’s Auto Body, as we specialize in helping car owners maintain the value of their vehicles. If you would like to know more, you can call us at (856) 218-0202.63