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The Impact of Previous Accidents on a Used Car’s Value

A comprehensive guide to understanding how a previous accident can affect the value of a used car. Learn from real-life experiences and expert opinions.

car hit by a tree, car accident

The value of a used car can be influenced by many factors, one of which is its accident history. This article explores a real-life scenario shared by a Reddit user about a 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Blue that was involved in a serious accident. We delve into the impact of this accident on the car’s value and gather insights from the responses of other Reddit users.

Understanding the Impact of a Previous Accident

When selling a used car, it’s important to understand how its history can impact its value. A previous accident, for instance, can significantly reduce the car’s value. This is especially true for serious accidents that required extensive repairs. In a Reddit thread, a user shared his experience with a 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Blue that had been in a serious accident. Despite the car looking and driving the same after repairs, the user was concerned about how much the accident would reduce the car’s value when selling it.

The value reduction can also vary depending on whether you’re selling to a dealer or a private party. Dealers often offer less than private buyers, but they also tend to be less concerned about previous accidents.

Differing Opinions on Accident History

Opinions on the impact of a previous accident on a car’s value can vary greatly. Some people see a rebuilt title as an opportunity to get a better-priced car, while others are wary of such vehicles. According to the Reddit thread, the value can be affected in the first 5-10 years after an accident.

However, it’s important to note that these are just opinions. The actual impact on a car’s value can vary depending on many factors, including the severity of the accident, the quality of the repairs, and the car’s make and model. For more insights on this, check out our blog post on the top 10 best aging used cars.

The Role of carVertical Reports

Car history reports, such as those provided by carVertical, play a crucial role in determining a car’s value post-accident. These reports provide detailed information about a car’s history, including any previous accidents. They can greatly influence a car’s selling price, as they give potential buyers a clear picture of the car’s past.

For more information on carVertical and how to use it, check out our carVertical review and our guide to VIN decoders.

Estimating the Value Reduction

Estimating the value reduction due to a previous accident can be tricky. According to the Reddit users, the reduction can be around 20% or even up to 50% for a rebuilt car. However, these are just rough estimates. The actual reduction can vary depending on many factors, such as the extent of damage, the demand for the make/model, the quality of repairs, and the use of factory parts.

For more information on how mileagecan impact a car’s value, check out our blog post on decoding the mileage impact on older cars’ value.


Understanding how a previous accident can affect a used car’s value is crucial when selling or buying a used car. While a previous accident can reduce a car’s value, the actual reduction can vary depending on many factors. Car history reports, such as those provided by carVertical, can provide valuable information about a car’s past and help determine its value post-accident.

Have you had an experience selling or buying a used car with a previous accident? Share your experiences or thoughts in the comments below. For more insights and guides on used cars, visit our blog or check out our homepage.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to calculate depreciation value of a car after an accident?

The depreciation value of a car after an accident can be calculated by comparing the car’s value before the accident and its current value. This can be done using online tools or by consulting with a professional appraiser. Factors such as the extent of the damage, the quality of the repairs, and the car’s make and model will all affect the depreciation value.

Does Carfax value account for accidents?

Yes, Carfax reports do take into account any accidents that a vehicle has been involved in. These reports provide a detailed history of the vehicle, including any accidents, which can significantly affect the car’s value. However, it’s important to note that not all accidents may be reported or recorded in the Carfax report.

What affects the resale value of a car the most?

Several factors can affect the resale value of a car. These include the car’s age, mileage, condition, and history (including accidents and maintenance). The make and model of the car, as well as the demand for that particular car, can also significantly impact its resale value. Additionally, factors such as the color of the car and the availability of certain features or options can also affect its resale value.

What causes a car to lose value?

Cars can lose value due to a variety of factors. Depreciation is a major factor, with cars typically losing value over time simply due to age. High mileage can also cause a car to lose value, as can poor maintenance or lack of servicing. Accidents and damage to the car can significantly reduce its value, especially if the damage is severe or if the car has been written off and then repaired. Other factors that can cause a car to lose value include changes in market demand, changes in fuel prices (which can affect the value of certain types of cars), and the release of new models.

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