How Frame Damage Ruins Vehicle Resale Value

car frame damageYou may not notice it if you aren’t a trained auto body repair expert, but damage to your vehicle’s frame will set you back financially when you are ready to sell it. We live in the age of vehicle transparency, where its history is available for all to see through reports like those provided by Carfax. If repairs are documented, consumers are empowered to inform themselves about it.

There have been some reported cases where insurance companies have pressured auto body repair shops to label frame repairs anything other than actual “frame repair.” The logic behind this, however sinister it may be, is to avoid paying a significantly higher Diminished Value claim (if they pay it at all, with unreported frame damage).

When a vehicle’s frame has been damaged, it may be fixable, but the financial damage is permanent. Assuming it is accurately documented, a vehicle is valued significantly less due to the stigma to consumers who are in the market for a vehicle.

Another setback related to a frame-damaged vehicle is the likelihood that a car dealership will reject it altogether. We know from firsthand accounts that certified used vehicle programs have strict standards when it comes to a vehicle’works repair history. For instance, Toyota’s program instructs its used vehicle inspectors to “Check frame to be sure no damage has been done to frame; no non-factory welds; no cracks; not bent; no evidence of flood damage.” If you don’t achieve a certified pre-owned status, you’ve potentially lost thousands in the value of your vehicle. In 2009, CNN Money did a value comparison between used and certified pre-owned vehicles. Here are a few examples of the dramatic differences:

Toyota Camry
Used 2007: $14,713
Certified used 2007: $18,114

Cadillac CTS
Used 2007: $23,304
Certified used 2007: $27,892

Chrysler 300C
Used 2007: $19,215
Certified used 2007: $22,157

If you’ve been in an accident make sure you have a trustworthy appraisal and repair assessment so you can get what you deserve in your next car accident claim.