After your vehicle has been damaged in an accident, it makes sense to arrange to have it appraised in the current condition. What you want to know is how much of a loss in value occurred as a result of that accident. Once you have the diminished value appraisal details in hand, you can decide what to do next. Here are some possibilities.
File a Diminished Value Claim
Once the results are in, you may decide that filing a claim for diminished value would be a good idea. This is worth considering if the car is relatively new, has low mileage, and was in excellent condition prior to the accident. It’s also an option if you were not the person who caused the accident.
The goal here is to recoup at least some of the value that the car has lost because of the recent event. While it can never be reclaimed in full, the compensation that you may get from the claim will help take some of the sting out of the loss.
Sell the Vehicle As Is
For various reasons, you don’t want to go through the process of having the car repaired. Maybe it was older and you were thinking of getting rid of it anyway. Based on the appraisal results, it’s not worth a lot. You may decide to sell it outright and settle for whatever you can get.
There’s more than one way to sell the vehicle. Some auto scrap yards are happy to buy damaged vehicles and harvest the parts. Others may want to buy it and make the repairs themselves. In any event, you’ll set a reasonable offer based on the appraisal results, make sure prospective buyers know the car’s history, and then take the best offer that you receive.
Use the Damaged Vehicle as a Trade-In
There are some auto dealers who will take vehicles in just about any condition. Assuming that the damage to your car does not prevent it from being driven, there may be a local dealer who would offer a reasonable trade in. It may or may not be in line with the figure found on the diminished value appraisal, but hopefully it will be close.
This solution means you don’t have to wait for repairs. Get something for the damaged car and apply it to the purchase a decent used vehicle. As long as you can manage the payments, this approach allows you to be back on the road in less time.
Choose to Have It Repaired
There’s always the option of keeping the car and having it repaired. File a claim with the insurance provider and see how much of the repair cost is covered. If it’s most of the cost and you can afford the remainder, this could work out fine.
The plus is that you get to keep a vehicle that you like. A possible down side is that what the insurance provider will cover may or may not be in line with the appraisal results. If you’re willing to spend the extra money needed, you may luck out and only need to come up with alternative transportation for two or three weeks.
Having an appraisal done will tell you a great deal, including the diminished value after an accident. Consider each way that you can put that information to good use. It won’t take long to settle on the approach that’s best for you.