Car Value depreciation after accident

blush28October 15, 2005

Long story here - my car was in an accident (I was sleeping it was 1am in the morning); it was hit (along with one other vehicle) by a drunk college student and was 6000 in repairs. He was on his father's insurance, which did make the repairs, but there are other issues, and I want to find out if I have any recourse. First, I had only just recently purchased the vehicle and at the time had not even made the 2nd car payment (when the vehicle was hit). Secondly, I had already been considering trading the vehicle in because when I purchased it, I was not aware that I was pregnant with twins. So, now I am going on 4 months pregnant (just got the car back) and took it to CarMax to have it appraised. It doesn't have any frame damage, but because of the body damage repairs, my car lost about $6K in value. CarMax told me to pursue the other party's insurance for depreciation to my vehicle's resale value.

My concerns:

A) Will I be safe in this vehicle?

B) I was looking to purchase a used SUV since I now have a Honda Accord - I actually prefer cars, but since I will be hauling twins in and out, I'd rather it be an SUV or minivan or something.

C) I am royally pissed that I have 6K in negative equity over something that wasn't my fault. I have had the car 2-3 months and haven't even driven it that much.

Should I just suck it up and keep the vehicle for 3+ years until I break even? Or should I try to pursue the insurance route?

So lost and confused and frustrated!

Cynthia

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cowboyind

If Carmax noticed that the body had been repaired, possibly the repair was not done very well. Maybe there are things that can be improved upon or corrected.

Whether or not you'll be as safe in a car that's had $6,000 worth of body repairs done to it is a very good question, and I don't think anyone can give you a definite answer. Safety is a matter of degree. A five year old car is probably not as safe as a brand new one because materials weaken over time. A car that's had collision damage repaired properly should in theory be as safe as a car that never had any damage, but you really have no way of knowing if the damage was properly repaired or not.

As far as the value of your car, you have only gotten on opinion on that. I would get a few more. But if you do find that your car is worth less now that it's been wrecked and repaired, you are entitled to be compensated for those damages. Make sure that any dealers who you have appraise the car give you written statements of the car's value. You'll need written documentation to make your case to the insurance company or to a court if you wind up having to sue.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2005 at 2:04AM
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mikie_gw

Probably if you tell the insurer that you've been so upset with all this depreciation and problems while being pregnant with twins and all that you think it might be affecting your & their health. Being you were in the car during the accident should scare any insurer into keeping you happy and getting you to sign releases quickly.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2005 at 9:56AM
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gary__

If the car was repaired properly, it will be as safe as it ever was.

New cars depreciate a bunch the minute you sign the papers so if you traded it in or sold it right away, your loss would likely be substantial, wreck or no wreck.

If it was repaired properly, imo the difference in value before and after shouldn't be that much. The difference would be if there were two identical cars side by side for sale, one had been damaged and repaired properly, the other never had damage. The one without damage would be selected by a purchaser before the other. That doesn't mean the one that had been repaired is worth less than the other. Just means if given the choice, a person will pick the car that hadn't been in the shop first.

I agree with cowboyind in getting something in writing from a couple of places that states the car is worth less than it was before. As you were told, the kid or his insurance company owes you the difference. Best of luck to you.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2005 at 11:02AM
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tom418

blush28: from what I've read, when many used car dealers offer "Certified Pre-owned" cars, one of the requirements is that the car could never have been in an accident. I would agree that while a properly repaired car may be as safe as it was "pre accident", the quality may not be the same. Bondo is no substitute for sheet metal. Any experienced bodyman can tell if a car was in an accident.

I sympathize with you. I've had two beatiful cars (one a 1970 Chevelle) which were in accidents (not my fault) and were never quite the same. See if you can get an appraiser
to vouch for the fact that the car is indeed worth less.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 7:22PM
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cowboyind

That's a really good point about the "certified pre-owned" cars. People can also get the reports on a car based on its VIN and probably discover whether there was significant collision repair ever done.

If the purpose of the insurance settlement is to put you back to where you were the moment before the accident, which is pretty much what it is supposed to do, that's going to become increasingly expensive to do now that people have so much information available about used cars they are considering buying. Insurance rates will have to go up significantly if car owners are going to be compensated not just for repairs but for the fact that their car is no longer worth as much.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 7:50PM
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Janis_G

My grandson was in an accident while driving one of our
cars which was a Honda Accord. The accident was not his fault.
It was just a few dollars short of $6,000 repairs.
Paid for by the other party's insurance. They also sent a
check for less than a $1000 for depreciation along with a
certified copy of the appraisal (sp) from the certified
state company that handles such matters.
Though my grandson wasn't hurt and never went to the
hospital, they asked that he go to a doctor for a check up.
They sent a check for the doctor bill and an extra $700
dollars for his inconvenience, pain & suffering etc.

Unfortunately just 3 months later, someone pulled out in
front of my husband and in trying to miss the vehicle that
had pulled out in front, he rolled the Honda and totaled it.
Our insurance gave us the full amount we could have gotten
for it retail.

Too bad your car wasn't totaled.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 12:19AM
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earthworm

Janis, your insurance company is excellent, even overly generous..
The rates must be high !

Anyway, at one time cars, even trucks, used real bumpers, and the height was petty much the same.. as opposed to today when a 5 mph tap can result in thousands of $$$$ in damage..

IMO, there are several categories of "accidents"..

1 the bumper scratcher - usually ZERO real damage

2 the fender bender - a few hours in the shop, several hours pay for new parts, as necessary - the car is 90 to 99.99% as new, depending on the quality of workmanship and materials.
3 the frame totaler - usually the end

And of course many categories in between..And I have gone through all of them...

But, short of category 3,or even 2.1, a good body shop can repair a vehicle 99.99% as new...
But today "safety" is so overplayed and "economics" are tossed to the winds..

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 1:00PM
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tomh_ga

Carmax and other car dealers are going to pull a CarFax or similar report by the VIN that will show your car was damaged in a collision and extent of repairs regardless of how well the car was repaired. Most dealers also have a "paint detector" device that they run over the painted surfaces of cars that detects differences in thickness of factory paint jobs vs. body shop paint jobs.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 10:34PM
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bill_h

i was in the same situation her a yr ago, had my new car hit with less than 5000 miles on it, i voiced my concerns to my insurence company, who then went after the guy who hit me, and his insurance company and got me an additional check to offset the loss in value. i believe they based that extra loss on what 3 dealers told them. at any rate it came to a bit under 1100.00 bucks.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 5:24AM
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lulashoo

I got a check from my ins. co. for loss of value. Nothing significant, but I thought it was the stupidest thing since the accident was totally my fault, that they would then reimburse me for value lost to my car because of the accident.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 1:02PM
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klflorida

Auto accidents and the prevailing insurance issues has always been a hot topic for me.

Recently, my 20 yo daughter who has had 2 auto accidents in the last 2 years as well as 2 speeding tickets has me paying premiums in excess of 8000/yr. I have a 17 yo who has been driving on a permit for a year who is itching for her license but my insurance company of 25 years tells me my rates will go to 9900/yr, something I just can't fathom as the current rates are really putting a choke hold on my family.

Concerned about my own daughters automobile, (the one that has been in 2 accidents totalling about 9000.00 in damages) I ordered a carfax report, I think it cost me something like 29 dollars. It came back Clean! Can you believe it?!! My first impulse was to call and complain, before the duh factor kicked in.

Her car was put back together with parts that fit but weren't necessary made for her make and model; i.e., non-factory parts. It also should have been totaled but the repair shop did quite a bit of work before determining the damage was more extensive than first appraised.

Oh well, like I said, auto insurance is such a hot topic with me, it always pushes my buttons, I just had to jump in.

If I were the OP and I had the stamina, I would raise cain with the insurance company to be compensated for the depreciated loss.

Kathy

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 3:31PM
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DNT1

8,000 dollars a year if I had to pay that this young lady would be riding a bicycle LOL

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 9:24PM
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johndeere

Those CarFax reports are nice if your buying.But bad if your car was damaged wrecked.If I was in a situation like that.I would have it traded off the day it came out of the body shop.Before it shows up on the Carfax report if at all possible.

After there wrecked there never the same and the paint might match now.But it will not later on.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 7:57PM
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dlynn2

Bill H, Janis G, and lulashoo,

Who were the insurance companies that compensated you for loss of value? I was just in an accident in my new car (totally the fault of another driver) and it has sustained major damage. We are trying to trade it in or get a new car and I'm not having lots of luck with the insurance. I'm just curious how you managed to get compensated for this. THanks.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 12:38PM
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lucipearl46_yahoo_com

I have an 2008 Dodge Avenger. My daughter was driving my car to school, looking for a parking space. When a company driver back into my car on the driver back side knocking the bumper off and doing some damage, totaling over $2500 so far. The body shop says that they want know the extent until they get into repairing my car. The guy insurance is paying for the repairs now, the car is in the shop. What I want to know is, how can I go by getting depreciation cost and where do I go get a certified copy or copies of depreciation cost for my car. The insurance co. who is responsible for paying for the repairs is the same insurance co that is located on the car dealership lot. In which I didnt know until I got there. But I chose the dealership because that where I take my car for repairs. Thanks in advance CMorris.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 3:14PM
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xtina0611

I was just hit front end collision by a drunk driver a week and a half after buying my jeep. There is about 12,000+ dollars of damage so far. Its at a jeep dealership to get fixed but I'm still worried about it, and the depreciation value on it. I mean it still has temp tags! And the safety value, plus will it ever be the same!? Should I trade it in what I'm lost and confused.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 8:41PM
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