Buying & Selling

Buying a Car That Has Been in an Accident


Buying a car is always a difficult decision, and it becomes harder as the years march on. Young car buyers today are more wary than ever about the decision that awaits them, and take weeks longer to buy than older generations, on average.

There are a lot of factors to consider. Do you want or need a large vehicle or a small one? Are you going to commute long distances (making gas mileage a priority)? Will buying a new or used car make the most sense for your needs and budget? One consideration that is often overlooked, however, is the question of whether we should buy a car which has been in an accident, and which carries latent damage with its price tag.

How accidents are concealed

Often times when you decide on a used car, you get an honest appraisal of the car’s value and history, but this is not always the case. Sometimes, dishonest sales staff try to sell you a used car that has been in an accident without disclosing this information to you. This gap in knowledge keeps you from understanding the vehicle’s true value, and if you ultimately buy the car, you will do so for hundreds if not thousands above its actual going rate without knowing the truth.

This is possible because the Carfax reporting system takes up to six months to update after an accident is reported, which means that a quick-footed salesman can buy a recently damaged vehicle, fix it, and flip it without the Carfax report reflecting the damage done to its body or interior parts. In this way, a dealership can give you a “clean” copy of the report, even though it will soon be amended to reflect the recent collision that the vehicle fell victim to.

What should you do?

The best thing you can do if you find yourself in this situation is stop driving, and then call your lawyer. The law is clear about misleading sales tactics, and you can win this battle and get your money back. Alabama motorists know the importance of keeping contact info available for their local auto accident lawyer in Mobile, AL in case of a collision, but what they often forget is that legal assistance can be of use in other circumstances surrounding their vehicles as well. In this case, your local lawyer can help you get compensation for the car you overspent on.

However, it is important to stop driving the car while your case is being litigated because even though the law is on your side, a jury may overrule your claim if you give off the appearance of not caring that your car does not represent what you envisioned your purchase to be.

How to avoid the scam

The best way to avoid a scam like this altogether is to visit a reputable car dealership whenever you plan to buy a new car. Americans buy an average of nine cars throughout their lives, and a simple method to avoid becoming prey to an immoral sales staff is to find a dealership that you trust and return to it as often as you can. In getting to know the staff at a particular location, you can ensure that you are treated fairly each time you replace or add a vehicle to your garage.

This is not to say that damaged cars are not worth buying, only that you need to be wary of dealerships that may sell damaged cars at a price unworthy of your consideration, by not informing you of the true facts about a particular car. Cars which received light damage are sometimes great investments because they still often run as well as they did before a collision and are priced at a significant markdown. Just make sure you know all the facts before you invest in a tool that you will use every day. You need to know that you’re getting what you paid for.

Joe Lee
Hi, My name is Joe Lee and I am the founder of My purpose of creating this blog is to spread the knowledge of auto with others.

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