Automotive

Buying a used car with reported accidents

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  • May 6th, 2020 1:03 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 14, 2018
826 posts
886 upvotes

Buying a used car with reported accidents

Hey everyone, so I'm in the market for a used car right now (probably a 2016 or 2017 Civic) and a lot of the used cars that I'm looking at have been in accident(s), according to the Carfax reports. How concerned should I be with cars that have been in prior accidents? I was thinking maybe insurance claims < $1000 aren't really a big deal since that might mean it's just cosmetics, but just wanted to get a second opinion.

Should used cars that have been in prior accidents be a deal-breaker for me or are there instances where I could overlook that and perhaps use that as leverage to get a lower price at the dealership?
9 replies
Deal Addict
Feb 4, 2010
4177 posts
2957 upvotes
I personally wouldn't buy a car that's been in an accident, it's not worth it but if you do, of course make sure to negotiate it down as much as you can.

Also be careful with cars from Quebec, I was told by a mechanic that they're not required to report it in the Carfax and that's why there are many cars from QC.
Deal Addict
Jan 5, 2004
3749 posts
339 upvotes
Toronto
It's a civic, you're not buying some collectible. If the damage is low enough, it's probably just a fender bender. If the discount is good enough for you, go for it. For something like $1000, a new bumper would cost $1000. Ideal case is get a copy/record of the damage and repair, if not, probably not a deal breaker.
Banned
Jul 24, 2009
834 posts
575 upvotes
kitchener
MarinersFanatik wrote: Hey everyone, so I'm in the market for a used car right now (probably a 2016 or 2017 Civic) and a lot of the used cars that I'm looking at have been in accident(s), according to the Carfax reports. How concerned should I be with cars that have been in prior accidents? I was thinking maybe insurance claims < $1000 aren't really a big deal since that might mean it's just cosmetics, but just wanted to get a second opinion.

Should used cars that have been in prior accidents be a deal-breaker for me or are there instances where I could overlook that and perhaps use that as leverage to get a lower price at the dealership?
Accident on the record drops the resale value like a rock, especially with anything unibody such as a Civic.

Getting the unibody alligned to the original pre-accident state is next to impossible.
Most of these cars will have uneven tire wear issues, will be pulling to either side, will have handling issues and will rust at much faster rate due to various body panels being welded in with poor rust proofing afterwards.

I would avoid them like a plaque, unless the accident was purely cosmetic..
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Apr 23, 2007
9840 posts
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Mississauga
Accident or not, on the carfax or not, always get the car looked at by a mechanic.
1K is nothing, probably just paint not even body work.

Edit: You want my civic? 2014 LX Manual 130K.
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Deal Addict
Apr 22, 2013
2595 posts
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Markham
No matter what used car it is, you want your trusted mechanic to go over the whole thing. The ad can say whatever it likes, accident or no accident, to ensure your used car experience isn't a bad one, you must verify and do as much due diligence as possible. So even if they're honest about one accident, does this mean there's no more? You must verify. A car saying its never had an accident, again you must verify that. Carfax will only list whatever the insurance companies give them, if the damage was recent it might've not been updated in time or perhaps the previous owner never reported it.

Personally, accident damage isn't necessarily a deal breaker. If the seller refuses to allow the car to be inspected at a mechanic of my choosing, that's the deal breaker.
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Apr 23, 2007
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Mississauga
JeganV wrote: Personally, accident damage isn't necessarily a deal breaker. If the seller refuses to allow the car to be inspected at a mechanic of my choosing, that's the deal breaker.
This! I was even looking at a WRX with 10K damage... i know a red flag for some but if i get a PPI on it and its good, no frame damage, then why not buy?
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Deal Addict
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Mar 7, 2007
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So many Civics.

There are so many used Civics in the market, that you could pick and choose exactly what you want. Same with Toyotas.

There are so many that I'd try to find a clean one, even if I have to pay a bit more.
Deal Expert
Jan 15, 2006
15724 posts
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Richmond Hill
I wouldn't touch any car with quarter panel damage. Those are NEVER repaired the same as OEM and will rust a lot quicker.
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Nov 12, 2004
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Hometown
angry-trucker wrote: Accident on the record drops the resale value like a rock, especially with anything unibody such as a Civic.

Getting the unibody alligned to the original pre-accident state is next to impossible.
Most of these cars will have uneven tire wear issues, will be pulling to either side, will have handling issues and will rust at much faster rate due to various body panels being welded in with poor rust proofing afterwards.

I would avoid them like a plaque, unless the accident was purely cosmetic..
Maybe 5 or 10 yrs ago it did. Today, I don't agree that an accident drops the price like a rock. Ever since dealerships have adopted their price fixing app called market pricing or whatever handle the use for it. I have priced tons of cars in the last 6 months and from what I have seen. Accidents, no maintenance records, extreme high mileage and even apparent odometer rollbacks do NOT seem to lower asking prices by more than 1 or 2% at best from other identical models...

Even where I could find pricing on what the vehicles were sold for it seems not to have affected value very much. Some CPO cars I have looked at had damage from accidents.... I was like HOW can that be a CPO car and was told the app says it is fine... OK LOL.

For me unless I knew exactly what was repaired and by which shop I would not buy a 3 or 4 yr old car that had accident damage. To even consider it, It would have to be about 30% less than a comparable "non accident" vehicle and I would have to have my buddy who has been a body man and insurance accident appraiser for 30 yrs and my mechanic look at it, and approve it as being a GREAT deal. So that will probably never happen LOL.

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