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Do scratches affect my car’s value?


Car accidents can have a lasting impact, even up to the point of selling your vehicle.

While minor bumps and scratches usually won’t affect your car’s value too significantly, bumps, dents, and chips can impact your car’s value based on estimated repair costs.

For the most part, though, dealers don’t expect used cars to be perfect, so a few scratches are acceptable without any major issues when it comes to selling.

Key Takeaways

Is it worth getting the scratches on my car removed before selling?

It’s worth getting any noticeable scratches removed prior to selling.

Appearance matters when you sell your car.

Prospective buyers of used cars typically inspect the bodywork, including alloys and windscreen, for any damage.

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Impact on value according to insurance category bands

Insurance category bands can help determine the impact of an accident on your car’s value.

When you report an incident to your insurance company, they assess the damage and categorise it using a letter that describes the type of damage and the car’s future.

Here are the categories that describe the level of damage a car has sustained:

  • Category A: Car is irredeemable and suitable only for scrap.
  • Category B: Car is irredeemable as a vehicle but can be broken down for parts and resold.
  • Category S: Car has structural damage that requires professional repair before it can be driven again. (previously known as Category C)
  • Category N: Damage is non-structural but may still render the car unsafe to drive. (previously known as Category D)

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Selling a damaged car FAQs

What counts as an accident?

The definition of an accident can vary when it comes to car value and dealer expectations.

Noteworthy accidents may be defined differently.

Accident Type Value impact
Scratches / scrapes / small dents  Low
Minor collisions (e.g. panel replacement required) Low/moderate
Serious collisions High

How much do scratches devalue a car?

Accidents can significantly reduce the value of a car. Category A and B cars are only worth the scrap value or the value of their parts, while Category S and N cars can still be sold but for less than an accident-free car. Factors contributing to your car’s value following an accident include:

  • The extent and quality of the repairs
  • The car’s worth before the accident
  • Age and mileage

What is diminished value?

Diminished value refers to the decrease in your car’s worth before and after an accident, and it’s used in insurance claims to cover the repairs needed to restore your car to its original state. However, even after repairs, your car’s accident history may still impact its value when you sell it.

Scratched Car

Will dealers buy a car that has been in an accident?

Dealers are known to buy a vehicle that has been in an accident. However, to ensure a smooth selling process and a fair car valuation, it’s recommended to follow the tips mentioned above. Alternatively, you can sell your car to BigWantsYourCar.com for convenient pickup times and fair car valuations.

Posted By: BigWantsYourCar

Date Published:
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