What is Diminished Value?
Diminished Value is the measure of loss in value that a motor vehicle suffers as the result of collision
repairs. It is becoming more common for a perspective buyer to ask about the accident history of a
vehicle before anything else. No one wants to drive a previously wrecked vehicle unless the seller’s
price is discounted accordingly. With the evolution of CARFAX and other vehicle history websites, it’s
becoming more difficult to sell a vehicle with a history of damage. Car selling websites now even offer a
filter to exclude previously damaged vehicles. One customer reported having problems getting a pre-
owned Mercedes financed, because the lending institution pulled a vehicle history report that showed a
Which Vehicles are Likely to Suffer Diminished Value?
A car salesman once told me, “If a vehicle has been in a body shop long enough to get dust on the hood, it has lost value!” These are typically good words to live by when considering the value of virtually any make or model of a vehicle. In short, ALL vehicles are likely to suffer diminished value, if they’re
involved in a collision. As a rule of thumb – the newer the car, and the greater the damage…the bigger
the loss in diminished value! Several factors determine exactly “how much” diminished value your vehicle may suffer, including…
Age of the vehicle (the newer the car, the more diminished value you’ll suffer)
Mileage (less miles = more loss in diminished value)
Degree of damage (what parts of the car were damaged, and how bad was the damage)
Can I Just Trade In My Repaired Car at the Dealership?
Most dealers won’t offer top trade dollar for a previously damaged vehicle. As a matter of fact, you’re
very likely to get “bottom” trade dollar instead! The reason is simple…most car dealers will never re-sell
a vehicle on their lot that has been previously damaged and repaired. Instead, they’ll wholesale the
vehicle. Because of this, the dealer can’t make as much money re-selling your vehicle, you won’t be
offered as much for it when you trade it in.
Does My Vehicle Qualify Me to Receive Money Back for Diminished Value?
If your vehicle has had ANY collision damage that is documented and your state law allows (which most
states do!), you are entitled to recover money from your insurance company to compensate for your
diminished value. If the accident was not your fault, it’s very likely that you are entitled to collect
payment for your diminished value. And, in some states (GA included), even if the accident was your
fault, you can still collect payment for diminished value!
How Can I Recover My Diminished Value?
First, you must have your loss documented by a certified, qualified automobile appraiser. Without a
report from a certified appraiser, your insurance company is not likely to offer you a fair amount of
compensation. Chances are…you’ll never even be offered any Diminished Value compensation at all!
Once you have a signed report from a licensed appraiser in hand, you’re equipped to approach your
insurance company and demand the compensation that state law entitles you to! While we aren’t
legally able to negotiate directly with the insurance company on your behalf, we will remain in your
corner to coach you through your negotiation, and to answer any questions you may have during the
process. Most of all, we’ll be there to tell you whether you’re being offered a fair amount from your
insurance company to compensate for your diminished value!
Why Should I Work With David Montanaro and Southern Automotive Consultants?
Southern Automotive Consultants has a 97% Recovery Rate throughout our 20-year history. This means
that, for every 100 customers we write a DV report for…97 of them recover their money from the
insurance company! At Southern Automotive Consultants, we’re so confident that we can help you
recover your diminished value, we’ll offer you the following money-back guarantee…
If you don’t recover at least $550 from your insurance company, which is DOUBLE the cost of your
report…we’ll refund you the full cost of your report.