London News & Search
Many, if not most people will cross a vehicle off their list if it has any history of collision damage. An entire industry of body damage and repair history resources have popped up over the last decade or so, driven by consumer demand to know if a vehicle has a checkered past. And with all provincial regulatory bodies requiring full disclosure from licensed auto retailers regarding any reported damage on their products, the growth of services such as CarFax and Carproof is guaranteed.
Its only weak spot is that little, if any collision damage paid out-of-pocket by vehicle owners is reported, leaving some large holes in a consumer safety net. But should collision damage take a potential ride off of anyone’s shopping list? Are there types of damage that, when properly repaired, don’t provide any risk to long-term reliability, performance, resale value and safety?
Carproof, one of the major market share owners in vehicle history reports, took the time to review some helpful facts and tips to allow consumers to make a more informed decision on their vehicle purchase. Since 2000, they’ve run and analyzed reports on more than 13 million vehicles with damages valued at more than $12 billion. The report that the national median collision damage costs are $3,389, and that one out of every three vehicles they review has had some type of bodywork done. Of course, they strongly recommend getting a vehicle collision history report on any vehicle you intend to purchase (most licensed retailers include this on their inventory), but also taking the vehicle for a thorough road test and having it inspected by a licensed technician.
Carproof’s media team can’t point to a specific dollar figure that might be the deal breaking point, noting that repainting two doors after a parking pillar scrape can easily top $1,500 but doesn’t represent any risk in long-term reliability of the vehicle involved. Recent consumer surveys they’ve commissioned reveal that 61 per cent of buyers are open to purchasing a car with minor accident history.
They also suggest bringing a copy of any collision damage history to your inspecting technician so they can verify the exact areas of repair and if they were all done correctly. Check the odometer readings on these reports to give you any sense if a distance-travelled pattern is off indicating a possible tampering. Knowing all the facts about a particular vehicle’s history will also put you in a better bargaining position with the seller.
If you’re considering a late model pre-owned vehicle with collision damage, be aware that any paint work done by a body-shop won’t be covered for defects by the carmaker – if their warranty is still in effect. But most large independent and chain collision outlets offer their own warranties on their work, which makes knowing the identity of the shop that did any such repairs very helpful.
London News & Search