How to sell a ve­hi­cle with an ac­ci­dent his­tory

The Calvert Recorder - Southern Maryland Automotive Trends - - News -

Sell­ing a ve­hi­cle may seem easy, but un­load­ing pre­owned ve­hi­cles may take some time. While sell­ers may al­ready have their eyes on the prize — a new ve­hi­cle — the first step is sell­ing their cur­rent ve­hi­cle at a fair price, es­pe­cially for those who need to fi­nance the pur­chase of their next ve­hi­cle with the pro­ceeds they earn from sell­ing their cur­rent one.

Sell­ers must con­sider a host of fac­tors, in­clud­ing po­ten­tial mar­ket for the ve­hi­cle and its po­ten­tial price, be­fore putting their ve­hi­cles up for sale. The ac­ci­dent his­tory of a ve­hi­cle is another im­por­tant fac­tor. Buy­ers are un­der­stand­ably weary about pur­chas­ing ve­hi­cles that have been in an ac­ci­dent. Eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble ve­hi­cle his­tory re­ports can make it even more chal­leng­ing to sell a used car, but such re­ports don’t make it im­pos­si­ble to un­load pre­owned ve­hi­cles.

• Be open and hon­est. Hid­ing an ac­ci­dent is un­eth­i­cal and can haunt you down the road. It is bet­ter to be forth­com­ing about any ac­ci­dents a ve­hi­cle might have been in. If you have doc­u­men­ta­tion of the ac­ci­dent, such as pho­tos and re­ceipts for re­pairs, make it avail­able to prospec­tive buy­ers. If you have cer­ti­fi­ca­tion from an auto body shop or me­chanic that the ve­hi­cle is in per­fectly good con­di­tion and was re­paired with qual­ity, man­u­fac­turer-sup­plied parts, of­fer that in­for­ma­tion as well. The more in­for­ma­tion you pro­vide and the more hon­est and forth­com­ing you are, the less it will seem like you’re try­ing to hide ma­jor dam­age.

• En­cour­age a ve­hi­cle in­spec­tion. In­form the buyer that you have no qualms about him or her tak­ing the car to a me­chanic and hav­ing it thor­oughly in­spected. This will show your con­fi­dence in the per­for­mance of the ve­hi­cle.

• Con­sider a dealer trade-in. Dealer trade-ins may not earn you as much money than you would get if you were to sell the car pri­vately, but trade-ins tend to be sim­pler. Deal­er­ships have al­most zero emo­tional at­tach­ment to ve­hi­cles and likely won’t be as con­cerned as a pri­vate buyer about an ac­ci­dent on record. Some deal­ers farm out used cars to auc­tions or sal­vage yards. It may be worth it to take the lower price and not have the headache of un­load­ing the car on your own.

• Be flex­i­ble on pric­ing. The right price will help prospec­tive buy­ers over­look mi­nor blem­ishes or ac­ci­dents. When cou­pled with the truth, the right price can en­tice buy­ers to seal the deal.

Auto ac­ci­dents hap­pen. But while no one wants to get into a fender-ben­der, such ac­ci­dents should not pre­vent auto own­ers from sell­ing their ve­hi­cles in the fu­ture.

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