Will Dent Repairs on your Vehicle Fetch a Better Sale Price?

Cars, like people, don’t get through life without their fair share of knocks, scrapes and bumps. However, now that it’s time to sell, would making repairs to those dents and the paintwork help you realise a better sale price?

There’s the time the teenager reversed into the aluminium post-box which is still standing stronger than ever, but there’s a groove like a mini comet through the left side fender of your car. The rear bumper has a dent from when your partner lightly reversed into the tow-bar of another vehicle at the butcher shop, and both front doors have had a few contacts with other objects — none of it your fault, of course.

Bearing in mind that most people, lacking mechanical knowledge, will base their judgements on what the car looks like – the appearance will play a part in the purchase decision and the price.

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Is it possible to get a reasonable price for a second hand vehicle in New Zealand?

Some people would say that used cars are too cheap in New Zealand to justify any hope of a good price. For that reason, sending the vehicle into the panelbeater’s shop pre-sale may be the equivalent of overvaluing your house ahead of putting it on the market instead of selling on the potential. Or is it?

According to an International study of car prices in 40 countries done a couple of years ago by Europe-based global online used car dealership Carspring, New Zealand ranks 19th in the world for cheapest cars, one rank behind Australia. The United States has the most affordable used cars, followed by the United Kingdom and Russia. Clearly, used cars aren’t as cheap in New Zealand as we like to think.

From that, we can infer that preparing your car for sale is not the lost cause some people may think that it is.

Estimated value vs investment

The first thing you need to ask yourself is how much you want for the vehicle. If you’re only likely to get $5,000 for the car and the repair costs would be half that, then a rethink is needed.

However, if you want to get $10,000 for your car and the repair will be around $2,000, then ask yourself if you could get at least $8,000 without panelbeating repairs. If the difference between prices is $7,000 without repair and $10,000 with repair, then it may be worth your while to spend the $2,000.

The higher the value of your vehicle, the more worthwhile it becomes to carry out cosmetic repairs.

Not all used cars created equal

Some used cars aren’t always just another used car. The 1980s BMW E30 M3 will set you back in today’s market by about $100,000. Then there’s the 1990 Honda Integra Type R with high mileage that will cost you at least $20,000.

The lesson here is that not all cars are valued by the book. It is essential to understand what value the market puts on your vehicle when you’re deciding whether or not to fix the dents and perhaps get the car resprayed.

Research suggests that dents can de-value your car by as much as 10 per cent, but will making repairs realise a return on your investment? Talk to one of the team at Hibiscus Coast Panelbeaters for an expert assessment before you sell.