How Accident & Damaged Cars Can Give You a Competitive Edge

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In the not-too-distant past, the perception was that accident and damaged vehicles were harder to sell. But the reality is that accident and damaged vehicles can sell more quickly, produce higher profits, and provide consumers with more affordable vehicles— all while giving your dealership a competitive edge. But to make the sale and net a higher profit, you need the right data.

So, what is it that you need to know to outsell the competition? Keep reading as we debunk some myths about buying and selling accident/damaged cars, and then show you how to sell those vehicles once they’re on your lot.

3 Myths About Selling Accident or Damaged Vehicles

Myth 1: Accident and damaged vehicles are “damaged goods.” The reality is that, thanks to today’s repair procedures, many of these vehicles can be returned to “like new” condition. That’s important because CARFAX data shows that over 40% of all used vehicles have either been in an accident or have sustained some form of damage. While that might have made you gun shy in the past, in today’s market, you don’t have a choice but to rethink the used vehicles you’ll consider buying. But armed with the right data, you can assess which vehicles are best to add to your inventory and make them winners for you.

Myth 2: Accident or damaged vehicles take longer to sell. Not true. In fact, statistics show that these vehicles can sell quicker than non-damaged vehicles. Why? When you’re armed with data that not only reports which vehicles are damaged, but where and how severe that damage is, you can buy and sell at a better price. And the lower your acquisition price, the better you can price a vehicle so it’s more attractive to your customers.

Myth 3: Customers shy away from accident or damaged vehicles. Again, the truth is that some customers search out these vehicles because they know they’ll sell for less, making them more appealing. CARFAX data bears this out: Customers who arrive at the dealership already knowing the damage history of a vehicle are in a buying mindset.

How to Sell Accident/Damaged Vehicles

Buying right is just half of the equation because just getting a great accident/damaged vehicle onto your lot won’t win the race. How you market and present that vehicle is just as important. Here are four tips that will help you attract the right buyers and get them to sign on the dotted line:

1. List your car on a site that will bring in the right types of buyers. The right used car listing site will not only draw in millions of monthly searchers but those that are ready to buy. Arm your buyers with the data in each listing that they need to feel confident they are making the right choice — before they even see the car in person.

2. Don’t be shy about the fact that the vehicle has been in an accident or is damaged. The goal is to be 100% transparent and truthful – that appeals to buyers who are specifically looking to buy accident or damaged vehicles. When you use CARFAX Vehicle History Reports, you get all the details so you can price the vehicle more accurately and more attractively.

3. Become a product expert about the accident and damaged vehicles you put on your lot. Your CARFAX Vehicle History Report shows two things that customers want to know:

  • What was the point of impact? For over 80% of all vehicles in an accident, the CARFAX report will show the point of impact.
  • How severe was the damage? More than half of all CARFAX reports also include a severity scale – this is vital information customers want to know.

4. Give your customers a detailed walk-around to describe the vehicle. Use all data you have to tell the story – what was the point of impact, how severe was the damage, what was damaged, and how was it repaired. In addition, share the service history and ownership history. Together, this gives the customer the whole story about that vehicle so they can make an informed decision.

The bottom line: Customers who are shopping for an accident or damaged vehicle don’t expect the vehicle to be perfect – they just want to know the truth about it. CARFAX Vehicle History Reports — available with each vehicle on CARFAX Used Car Listings — give you and your potential customers the most accurate data available to make smart decisions about accident cars.

Want to learn more about finding the right buyers and selling your accident cars quicker? Get in touch.

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CARFAX invented vehicle history in 1986—and has been investing in it ever since. CARFAX has the most accident, damage, and service information.