Estimates are that about 20% of vehicles in use today have been involved in an accident. While it’s true that accident history is the top concern people have when shopping for a used car, seldom is it a deal breaker for them. Even so, less than 5% of vehicles with accidents get sold by dealers. This suggests that many dealers still avoid putting accident vehicles on their lot for retail, perhaps feeling those units will be tough sells or may impact the dealer’s reputation.
DJ Sherwood, partner development manager at Carfax, doesn’t want previous accidents to scare you away from adding great cars to your inventory. Instead, take steps to alleviate any expected concerns your customers may have and make a smoother transition to the deal table. and outlined below, DJ shares the Top 5 tips from Carfax for selling cars that have been in an accident.
• Disclose the accident first. A used car shopper knows they can’t get perfection, but they are looking to make the most informed decision possible. Show them you’re on their side by disclosing the accident up front.
• Show shoppers the Additional History section of the Carfax Report. If the vehicle has no reported structural damage, airbag deployment or total loss reported, the accident may have been minor.
• Use the date of the accident and ownership history to your advantage. A recent accident is of greater concern than an accident that occurred several years ago.
• Use keywords in the Detailed History section to indicate where the damage occurred and the severity of the accident itself. Point out the area(s) on the car that were damaged to let buyers do their own visual inspection.
• Use the ‘Carfax for Dealers’ mobile app anytime you take in a car at trade or auction. You’ll know the reported history before you buy, and you’ll be able to adjust your trade offers and auction bids to match each car’s unique history.
Bonus tip: Post your inventory on Carfax Used Car Listings. You’ll know those customers contacting you from Carfax.com have already seen and evaluated the reported history, and likely are ready to buy from you.
Don’t let an accident keep your shoppers from getting a great car at a fair price. Follow these tips to sell accident vehicles with confidence.