Diminished Value

mechanic identifying auto body repair mistakeThe term diminished value means the monetary loss a vehicle sustains after being in an accident that results in cosmetic or structural damage. A vehicle that has never been involved in a collision may be worth $15,000 second-hand, but markedly less if it has been damaged in a crash. Even if the car or truck was repaired to like-new condition, it will still be worth less money when the time comes to sell.

Consider this scenario: you’re in the market for a used 2010 Toyota RAV4, and you’ve found two, seemingly identical RAV 4s for sale. Both look to be in good shape cosmetically and have similar mileage, though one has been involved in a collision, but was expertly repaired at a local auto body shop. Which vehicle would you choose? In the end, the repaired model has a diminished value and is not worth as much as a vehicle that has never been in an accident.

Arizona requires full disclosure of any property damage resulting from traffic accidents when selling or trading a vehicle. Most buyers would choose a vehicle with a clean record over one that was involved in a previous accident.

Arizona diminished value claims

Unlike depreciation, which is the foreseeable loss of a car’s value over time, diminished value is a sudden loss of the vehicle’s premarket worth. This will depend on the severity and cost of the damages, as well as the quality of the post-crash repairs. If a vehicle is totaled, or incurs significant structural damage, it can suffer a 25 percent or greater loss in its premarket value.

In other words, a $20,000 vehicle will now only be valued at $15,000.

If the vehicle’s repairs are sub-par or not thorough following an accident, the less likely you are to recover its original value. On the other hand, if the workmanship is top-notch, the vehicle’s value can be maximized as close as possible to its pre-loss, or original value.

Arizona allows car owners to collect on diminished value claims once the vehicle has been repaired. However, this is only possible if you are not liable for the accident and the at-fault party has insurance. Here at Right Choice Collision Center, we are confident in the quality of our collision repair work, and we can locate an expert appraiser to assess your vehicle’s diminished value.

As we have discovered over the years, many consumers aren’t aware of their inherent rights to pursue diminished value claims in Arizona, since insurance companies are not forthcoming with this information. As usual, most carriers are only concerned with their own bottom line, rather than paying legitimate claims brought by honest vehicle owners.

Appraisal and vehicle repairs in Tucson

There are many other factors that affect a vehicle’s diminished value, such as current supply and demand, premarket value before the crash, mileage, and the overall condition before the damage.

If you were involved in an accident and had incomplete or poor quality repairs, or would like assistance finding a reputable appraiser and filing a diminished value claim, please contact Right Choice Collision Center – an independent body shop serving residents in Tucson and the surrounding communities. Stop by or call us at (520) 433-4327.