Is a car worth less after an accident?

According to the Office for National Statistics, between July 2017 and June 2018 over 165,100 people in the United Kingdom were injured in road traffic accidents. With such a significant number of accidents occurring in only a year, it’s no surprise that one of the most common questions asked by those involved in a car accident is: “Is my car worth less after an accident?”

To answer this question, you need to ask another question: “how much repair work did my car need?”

If you’ve had a small bump with superficial damage and maybe a panel or two repaired, it’s unlikely to be considered significant and won’t have an effect on the value of the vehicle. If however, your insurer considers the damage to be significant (e.g. cost more to repair the vehicle than they are prepared to pay for), then it is likely to be treated as an insurance write off, with a condition marker added to the vehicle record. And for owners of fleet cars, they may choose to sell the vehicle as accident damaged, rather than a claim for the repairs through their insurer.

If a vehicle has received substantial repairs following an accident, the value of the vehicle is affected regardless of the quality of those repairs. This is the case even if your car was repaired at a dealership with authorised parts, and it will always remain reduced in value compared to the vehicle if it wasn’t accident damaged.


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The classification of accident damaged cars


In the UK, insurance companies use categories to identify cars that have been involved in accidents and to identify the severity of the damage. You may be familiar with the term ‘Category D’, which referred to vehicles that can be repaired but are not considered cost-effective to do so by the insurer, but this system was replaced in 2017. The newly established categories are now labelled A, C, S and N and were created with the intention to place more emphasis on the condition of the car rather than the cost of repair.

  • Category A

    If you’ve been involved in a car accident or collision, and your car is determined to be a Category A then this means it is heavily damaged. Category A cars are considered to be beyond repair and may also be referred to as ‘scrap’ cars as they must be crushed entirely, including all parts.

  • Category B

    Category B cars are considered to be very badly damaged. Category B cars are also beyond repair but some parts may be saved, recycled or sold if they are still in working or easily repaired condition. If a car is a Category B, the body shell can’t be salvaged and must be crushed.

  • Category S

    Category S cars may be also be called ‘structural cars’ because the structural frames have been damaged in the accident. However, unlike Cat A and B Cars, a Category S car can be repaired and resold although the vehicle will have depreciated in value.

  • Category N

    This is the current equivalent to a Category D Car. A Category N car is damaged but has not received any damage to the structural frame unlike Category S. However, it should be noted that although a Cat N car may not have suffered damage to the structure, there may be other damage that could compromise the safety of the car.


How webuyanycar can help you following an accident

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Vehicles that have been involved in an accident can be difficult to sell privately, as there is limited interest in buying a vehicle that has been repaired. This is due to the repairs potentially not being carried out to a good standard, and buyers of previously damaged cars may have to account for further repairs or issues.

Regardless of the condition of your car, webuyanycar are here to help you sell your vehicle. You can get a quick, convenient and free car valuation in less than 30 seconds. Our car valuation calculator is highly intuitive and only requires your vehicle’s registration number, along with some simple details such as your cars Mileage, Condition and Service History. When selling a car that has been involved in an accident and to determine its worth, simply click on the ‘make changes & add damage’ button to include details as to what damage your car has received. We combine the information provided, along with data on the market value of your vehicle, current market demand for your vehicle and seasonality, to offer you a competitive car valuation.

We’ve even produced a fantastic walk-through video that shows just how simple it is to get a car valuation using our easy to use valuation tools. Webuyanycar makes finding out how much your car is worth a quick and stress-free experience, so what are you waiting for?


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