How does accident history hurt your car’s value?

After you have had an accident with your vehicle, the fair market value will drop significantly.  It’s a fact and very simple to explain.  Take a look at this email thread:
From: John <50a95ebe9ae834ffa9c63f00f89a3328@reply.craigslist.org>
Date: Wed, Aug 5, 2015 at 7:19 AM
Subject: Re: 2010 Toyota RAV4 AWD V6 Limited

Thank for responding.  I am looking for something that has not been into any accidents.   Best of luck!
John
From: craigslist 5118189611 <ghfvm-5118189611@sale.craigslist.org>
Date: Tuesday, August 4, 2015 at 10:48 PM
To: “50a95ebe9ae834ffa9c63f00f89a3328@reply.craigslist.org” <50a95ebe9ae834ffa9c63f00f89a3328@reply.craigslist.org>
Subject: Re: 2010 Toyota RAV4 AWD V6 Limited

John,

Rav4 is super clean, female owned…selling for my GF.  V6 Limited AWD loaded….Regrettably it has accident history although minor.  We are selling it at a discount accordingly but there are no issues.
Send your email and I will send report from AutoCheck directly

On Tue, Aug 4, 2015 at 9:42 PM, John Stack <50a95ebe9ae834ffa9c63f00f89a3328@reply.craigslist.org> wrote:

Hi!
Is your RAV4 still available?  If so, has it been in any accidents?  Do you have a car fax report?  Is there anything else that I need to know about it?
The car looks really nice!
Thanks,
John

When it’s time to sell your vehicle, dealers will adjust the trade-in value downward because it is very difficult to sell a car with accident history.  Most of the time, they will tell you that you can get more for it selling it privately,  in order to avoid insulting you with a lowball offer – remember they want to sell you a new car, not run you off.  If you take the dealers advice and attempt to sell your accident car privately, you will learn first hand what diminished value “stigma” means.  Not a few, or most potential buyers – every single person that calls to inquire about your vehicle will want a CarFax report.  When enough people ask for the CarFax, you will break down and pay the $39.95 yourself to give it out willingly for free to potential buyers.  When they see the accident history, usually you will never hear from them again, or like in the email pictured above they will politely decline to come see your vehicle.  What the nice dealer neglected to tell you is that your car is virtually “sale proof” and the only people that would consider an accident vehicle are those less fortunate people with poor credit that are not as discriminating.  They usually require very creative finance terms – something that you will never be able to provide.  The dramatic reduction in interested parties is what will force the discount in price.  This is where the majority of the damage is done with respect to diminished value.