Survey reveals what we think about buying a previously damaged vehicle that has been repaired

Our survey shows that only 9% of respondents would look to buy a previously damaged and repaired (to a high standard) car; and where they put value on the repaired car then it would be worth 24% less than the owner thought!

In September we undertook a survey for individuals thinking about buying a new car. The purpose of the survey was to determine what their thoughts were around buying a car that had previously been damaged and repaired to a high standard – the results amazed us.

Those surveyed were shown two identical high-end vehicles; one was labelled as being on sale for £10,000 with a note saying that it hadn’t had any damage, the other ‘identical’ vehicle had a note saying that it had previously been damaged and repaired (to a high standard).

Only 9% of respondents would consider buying the previously damaged car (and then only with a considerable discount on the asking price).

So who would buy the damaged car?

The decision to not buy the damaged car was split virtually 50/50 male/female.

What’s more interesting is that the younger the potential purchaser, the more likely they are to consider snapping up the repaired car:

Age Group Would buy car that has never been DAMAGED Would buy car that has been DAMAGED and REPAIRED
< 18 100% 0%
18-34 82% 18%
34-54 94% 6%
55+ 100% 0%

This is possibly younger drivers (18-34) thinking that they could get a bargain for a very good (but previously damaged) car.

The results clearly show that owners of vehicles that have been involved in an accident, and had them repaired, no matter how good the repairs undertaken will struggle to sell the vehicle for the price they believe its worth.

So how much is the damaged car worth?

On average the respondents that provided a value would offer between £1,000 and £5,000 less for our £10,000 previously damaged car, on average this is a massive 24% loss (£2,400).

This whole problem originates from how insurance companies compensate owners of vehicles that have been involved in an accident, if their claim is successful then they will obviously pay for the repairs, but they never consider the loss in value of the vehicle when it comes to be sold.

This diminution in value can be significant for some owners who believe that their beloved car is still worth the full book value, but as we have found out from our survey, this isn’t the case.

If you or anyone else knows of somebody who has had over £3,000 worth of damage to a car that is less than 5 years old then we might be able to win a diminution claim, further details and our contact form can be found on our dedicated diminution claim page.

Check out the infographic here.

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