What to Know About Buying a Car With an Accident History Event

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What to Know About Buying a Car With an Accident History

When purchasing a vehicle, many Canadians go directly to the used car market, as the cost savings over a new car can be substantial. But if the car has been in an accident in the past – that can be another matter. When buyers hear the word “accident,” it can send them running for the hills. And for good reason. A car that has been in an accident may be more likely to have other mechanical issues down the road.

And yet, there are some advantages to purchasing a car as well – with price being at the forefront as vehicles with an accident history can sell for as little as 60% of the cost of a used car without such a history.

Why does damage history matter?

A dent or scratch on the rear bumper of a vehicle may not seem like a big deal, but it can be. For example, if a car was involved in a fender bender and hit from behind, there could be issues with the suspension.

Even if repairs were made after an accident occurred, that is still no guarantee that the vehicle will perform as well as one that has never been in an accident. Additionally, other parts of the vehicle that may not have been damaged in the accident may have been put under stress and may therefore be more likely to wear out sooner than they otherwise would have.

And, if you do purchase a car with an accident history, you can expect that it will have a lower resale value and that you may have difficulty getting it refinanced.

How to evaluate a car with an accident history:

If you do decide that it is worth it for you to purchase a car with an accident history, there are some steps that you should take to help you avoid any nasty surprises down the road.

Get a vehicle history report

Before purchasing a used car, you should get a vehicle history report from a company like CARFAX. This will give you information about the car’s registration as well as about any past accidents and damage that was sustained to the vehicle.

Remember to pay attention to when the vehicle was last sold. If it was sold shortly following an accident, it might be a red flag.

Get the vehicle inspected

One mistake that many Canadians make when purchasing a used vehicle is not getting it thoroughly inspected by a licensed mechanic. You might have to pay a little extra to get a pre-purchase damage inspection, but doing so can help you avoid much higher costs in the future if the car needs repair work.

Take a test drive

Finally, don’t forget to take a test drive. Be aware of how the car handles and any suspicious noises that the vehicle may make while you are driving it.

What about insurance?

Before you decide to purchase a vehicle with an accident history, you will also want to consider how insurable the vehicle is. Cars that have been in minor accidents usually do not pose a problem, however, if the vehicle was totaled, it may be being sold as a salvage title – if that is the case, the vehicle may be unsafe.

If you are unsure of a car’s insurability, you can always check with your insurance broker before making the purchase.

In conclusion, while purchasing a vehicle with an accident history can save you considerable money upfront, you will need to do your homework to ensure that you are not getting more than you bargained for.

If you are purchasing a new or used vehicle and have questions about insurance, we can help. Call ICD Insurance today for more information.