Diminished Value Appraisal
by Pat Goss
Pat Goss:Try as we might, accidents happen. And one of the bad things about an accident is that afterwards the car may not be worth as much as it was before. Well, that’s called diminished value, and to help us explain it is Larry Batton. He is the founder and president of Auto Appraisal Group. Thanks for joining us, Larry.
Larry Batton: Thanks for having me.
Goss: Okay. Give us a brief explanation of diminished value.
Batton: After a car has been in an accident, it could have diminished value because of the accident and severity of the damage done to the vehicle.
Goss: Okay. So more severe accident, more diminished value?
Goss: What about the quality of repair? Is that going to have an affect on it too?
Batton: Absolutely. Repair-related issues, how the car was repaired, the type of material that was used to repair the vehicle, whether it was OEM or non-OEM parts.
Goss: Okay, so the driver wants to specify OEM, which is original equipment manufacturer, as opposed to after market parts.
Goss: Okay. All right, now what can the driver do to help protect themselves?
Batton: Well, first they need to understand how they determine diminished value. They could take the car to a dealer to see if the dealer thinks that the car’s been affected and the value is lessened because of a result of the accident, or they could hire someone like the Auto Appraisal Group that does diminished values across the United States in 43 different states.
Goss: Okay, so you’re all over the place.
Batton: That’s correct.
Goss: And looking at these cars every day.
Batton: On a daily basis. In fact, we attend sales on a weekly basis across the country to see what people would pay for cars that had been damaged versus the cars that had not been damaged even after the repairs.
Goss: All right. Okay, so they’re going to look for a quality shop, they’re going to look for a quality repair, and all such, but are they going to know if it’s done right?
Batton: If they can look at the car after the car’s been repaired, and they can see the difference in the areas of the repair in the different areas of the other car that had not been repaired, it’s probably not done right, Pat.
Goss: Okay. So even if it was mildly wrong, the average person isn’t going to know the difference.
Batton: No. It would take a professional eye a lot of times to see the difference.
Goss: Okay, so we’re going to recommend that. All right, briefly, what are the things that you recommend for people to protect themselves here?
Batton: First they should choose someone to repair their car that’s familiar with that type of make of vehicle, and look at their work that they’ve done on other cars. And when you go into the shop, watch to see how they work, if it’s done a professional way, if they have qualifications, and is it a busy shop or is it just a lot of cars out there that need to be repaired.
Goss: And maybe even references.
Batton: Absolutely. It never hurts.
Goss: Okay, Larry, thank you very much for joining us.
Batton: Thank you, Pat.
If you have a question or comment, write to me. The address is MotorWeek, Owings Mills, MD, 21117.