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How Fixing Scratches and Dents Could Devalue Your Vehicle's Worth

Updated on July 28, 2015

Touch Up the Paint or Replace Entirely?

Scratches and dents on your vehicle's painted surfaces are inevitable. Neither is the depreciation factor as you own and use it by adding mileage and the inevitable wear-and-tear. The cosmetic condition of your automobile is a huge part of its market worth. When it comes to trading or selling your car, truck, or SUV, prospective buyers will notably examine the condition of the paint and body.

How you deal with a scratch or dent will have an impact on how much money you can obtain in a trade or sale. There are two ways that scratches or dents can be dealt with: Repairing the damaged area or by or replacing the entire section on the vehicle.

For example, if you back into a stationary object, either a scratch or dent might occur as a result. If it is just a scratch, [phew], not too bad. Go to the dealer of the make of your vehicle and order matching factory paint and voilà! Fixed. However, if a dent reared its ugly head, then replacement could be the only solution to a good-as-new repair. Therefore, a replaced bumper, depending on the seamlessness of the job, to a trained buyer's eye and feel, it could signal an accident whose nature will be unknown to the prospective new owner.

Not to mention, oftentimes, those damages will not make it to an insurance adjuster and neither will a police report be filed. When it comes to non-accident related damage, many people deal with it on their own as to avoid paying a deductible for shop repairs.

If you plan a trade at the dealership, an appraiser will know what to check for when inspecting your vehicle. Or, a street buyer could be very savvy in what to look for in your ride. So, by putting yourself in their shoes and wonder if you would, more or less, pay for a vehicle whose replaced bumper could raise a red flag, will help you understand the value of your wheels.

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