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Don Jacobs
Don Jacobs
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Cars lose value after repairs

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Everyone remembers their father telling them not to buy a car that’s been in a wreck. “You’ll just be buying someone else’s problems” was what my dad used to say. Cars with a history of major body repair usually have rotten trade in values. Many new car dealers won’t even take them in on trade. And if you find one that does, be prepared to face a steep discount in trade in value. Let’s face it, if a purchaser wants to buy a certain type of car, finding one that has a history of major damage will make him look elsewhere. Put two identical cars side by side. The only difference is one has a history of body damage, the other doesn’t. Then put them up for sale. Guess which one will go first? Guess which one will bring more money? All of this is fairly common knowledge of course. Companies like Car Fax and others that offer vehicle history information are used by most intelligent car purchasers. So if someone runs into your car and it needs lots of repairs, not only should they be responsible for the repairs, they should pay for the loss in value as well. Not only is this fair and equitable, it’s the law. So why do insurance companies always try to tell you that once your car is repaired it really has suffered no loss in value? Another insurance myth is that the car suffered no loss since they didn’t try to sell it. Or they try to tell people you really can’t recover for this loss until you do sell the vehicle. This has never been the law. The law on the books has always been that depreciation loss is calculated as soon as the repairs are completed. There is no requirement you sell the car. They can’t make you sell your own property. Of course, if you did and took a loss, guaranteed they’d claim you shouldn’t have sold it so low. So if you find yourself in this situation, call a lawyer. The law is clearly on your side, despite what the insurance company tells you.