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Whether your car has suffered collision damage, hail damage, vandalism, or caught in floodwaters a sinking feeling sets in. Sure, in many cases the damage can be repaired. But at what cost to you? And even if insurance foots the bill, your car value after an accident is much less.

How much less? That depends on the type of repair and original value, what the results are after the repairs, and your title status. So how do you determine your car’s value?

Can I Trade in A Car With Body Damage?

After an accident, you might be thinking, “Can you trade in a car if it’s damaged?” Your decision to go through a damaged car trade-in will depend on the value of your now-damaged vehicle.

Imagine all the variables of the accident:

  • The angle of collision.
  • The number of cars involved.
  • The speed you were traveling.
  • Airbag deployment.
  • Previous mileage.   
  • The extent of frame damage.
  • Mechanical and electrical damage.

Calculate Car Value after AccidentWith so many variables, it’s fair to say that each accident car is going to be a little different, isn’t it?

Each wrecked vehicle evaluation is going to be different because of the accident factors. In that way, it’s nearly impossible to get an exact valuation on your car after an accident. Even with a diminished-value calculator, it’s difficult to know exactly how much your car has decreased in value.

How much is my damaged car worth?” Just because it’s nearly impossible to get an EXACT valuation, it doesn’t mean you can’t get a good idea of what your car is worth. You have some legwork to do, though.

You can get a car appraisal range if your car isn’t damaged, so start there. Using the “What’s My Car Worth?” function on the Kelley Blue Book website to appraise your car, you can determine the high, low, and average selling range for your used vehicle.

From there, you’ll need to assess the level of damage on your vehicle. If it’s driveable but just doesn’t look good anymore, take approximately half the KBB value. But if it’s heavily damaged and shouldn’t be on the road, it’s probably closer to a quarter of the KBB value.


Our expert evaluators can help you get an accurate estimate for your car's value, FAST!

What's The Difference Between Damaged and Totaled Cars?

If you want to get more accurate, have your car value checked. All over the United States, you’ll find professional car appraisers who impartially assign value to automobiles. Be aware that car appraisers charge for their services and it can be several hundred dollars, depending on the service near you.

What’s particularly aggravating about this situation is that your car might be worth almost as much as your appraisal cost! This begs the question of whether or not it's worth fixing your car, truck, or van after an accident.


What Is The Market Value of My Damaged Car?

Before getting a damaged car valuation, check the retail price of your pre-accident vehicle. There are a few tools available that can help you do this and. For example, CarFax offers a valuation tool using either a VIN or a plate number.

What’s great about it is that you don’t have to manually enter all your vehicle options, engine size, year, model, and so on – the VIN decodes all of that for you. You’ll still need the mileage though.

But even with popular sites like CarFax giving car values, you still can’t get an accurate car appraisal after an accident that way.

You only have a few options for dealing with a damaged car. You can:

  • Keep driving it as is. That could be dangerous, though, and isn’t advised unless a mechanic has inspected it and deems it safe. But who wants to drive a car that looks like it’s been through the shredder?
  • Fix it up rather than selling. Spend the money to restore your car to its previous glory. But then what? You either have a car that’s worth less than you’ve paid to buy and repair, or you sell it for less than you paid to fix it. Not a great option.
  • Sell it as it is. Cut your losses. You’ll pay more to fix it than it’s worth, and it’s no good the way it is. Sell it, get what you can for it, and buy something new – or at least, not wrecked.

Can You Sell A Car With Body Damage?

Selling a car after an accidentA wrecked car isn’t worth too much, and there aren’t many options to sell it. Advertise your accident car in the classifieds so you can get tire kickers and low-ballers calling you day and night. That doesn’t sound like a barrel of laughs.

So, trade it in at the dealership for your next car. But trading in a car with body damage isn’t great either since a dealer can’t be bothered to put the time or money into it. Should you sell it to a wrecker? You’ll barely get enough money for a coffee after you pay for the tow. Then what do you do?

As specialists in dealing with less-than-perfect cars, CarBrain will give you a fair price for it as-is.

Fill in the online form for a guaranteed offer. It’s easy and takes under 90 seconds to get your offer. If it looks good to you, just accept the offer and you’ll get paid fast! Often you get your money in 24 to 48 hours. CarBrain will have your damaged car picked up from wherever it is, at no cost to you. Get your offer immediately to find out how much your caris worth!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Trade In A Car With Body Damage?

If you’re looking for information on how to trade in a damaged car, you might come up short. That’s because dealerships do not specialize in damaged cars. While dealers do purchase and repair broken vehicles, they would prefer to purchase ones without body damage. Because of this, they will likely pay you less for your vehicle than what it is truly worth.

Should I Repair Body Damage Before Trading In A Car?

Trading in a damaged car, truck, or SUV is often not worth it because you will receive less than your car is valued. But what if you fix it up first? That’s something that you might be considering if your vehicle has body damage.

However, repairs usually don’t change the value of a car as much as you hope. You would end up spending money just to not get it back, which would be pointless from a financial perspective.

How Much Does Body Damage Affect Car Value?

You can perform a car price check online to find the value of your car, but it likely won’t be accurate if your vehicle has suffered body damage. This is because these calculators do not often take damage into account. Thus, you will get a rough estimate until a final, in-person inspection at bet.

How to Sell a Car With Body Damage?

Selling a car with body damage can be tricky if you are unaware of its demand. However, you can place an ad online through private marketplaces or even put a sign on your car to let drivers know your car is for sale. While your car might not be worth much to you, other drivers are looking for damaged vehicles.

Additionally, you can sell to a used car dealership or scrap it in a junkyard.

How Do You Value A Damaged Car?

Getting the value of a damaged car can be a frustrating process: some places will only calculate via the Actual Cash Value of your vehicle, while others will use its Fair Market Value. The former is a little more concrete, while the latter can vary depending on the buyer..

What Is My Car’s Trade-In Value After An Accident?

Before you trade in a wrecked car, you should find out how much you can get for it. This way, you can haggle with the dealership agent to get the highest offer.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to determine a car’s value after an accident without a professional evaluation. And the fact of the matter is that most places do not appraise broken cars accurately. You will only be able to get a very rough estimate based on someone’s judgment of the damage.

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