Home Finance Should You Buy A Car That Has Been In An Accident?
Should You Buy A Car That Has Been In An Accident?

Should You Buy A Car That Has Been In An Accident?

When people shop for cars, price is always a major factor, aside from the model, make, year, type, and color of the vehicle, especially when purchasing a secondhand vehicle. There are advantages and disadvantages to buying secondhand cars, but usually people go for them because of the much lower price. However, a question that needs to be answered for people shopping for a secondhand car is, should they buy a car that was previously involved in an accident? Let’s take a look at the things to consider.

How bad was the accident?

This is perhaps the most important question to consider. If the car was involved in a major crash that has damaged a lot of its components, then you are likely better off not even considering purchasing it, as it will come with a lot of headaches for you if you do. However, small dents and minor body damage can be no big deal, as these are mostly cosmetic damages. The engine, suspension parts, and electrical components are much more important than cosmetic damages.3

There are several ways to check if the car was involved in a previous accident or not, and how bad the damage was it was if indeed part of an accident – have it checked out by your trusty mechanic or shop, and getting vehicle history reports from sites such as Autocheck and Carfax.

Your trusty mechanic should have enough experience to know if there was previous damage and how bad it was, sometimes with just one look or sweep of the hand over the paint.

Autocheck and Carfax supply vehicle history reports and say if there was only minor damage or major damage. However, there can be inconsistencies with the system, so it is still best to have the car inspected by a mechanic you know and trust prior to making a decision.

Who repaired the car?

Let’s assume the car was involved in an accident and it is now repaired and running. Try to find out who fixed the car – was it somehow involved with the dealer? Was it some cheap repair job done as fast as possible? Your trusty mechanic will be able to tell you his thoughts regarding this. Consider that for paint jobs or body work, misaligned fenders or improper color matches could be a sign of a poor repair job that could also possibly tell you that there are other issues with the car. If the repair job was done in a professional manner, then it’s better for you as the buyer.

Title branding

In many states in the US, titles are issued to cars that have been in an accident. A salvage title means that for that particular vehicle, the cost of repairs already exceeded its value. A rebuilt title means the car has been inspected and deemed safe. An important thing to note is that some insurance companies don’t give coverage for cars with rebuilt titles. As a general rule, try to stay away from such vehicles with either of these titles.

Ultimately, the decision of buying a car that was in an accident before is up to you. However, try to have it inspected by your trusty mechanic before and after you purchase one, and address any repairs as soon as possible. You don’t want to get into an accident and face accident attorneys who will try to investigate if your car was actually roadworthy or not. It is best to have repairs done quickly, for safety purposes – for you and other motorists and pedestrians on the streets.

Joseph Herrera


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