Tips on Buying Cars/scratches


Another question...

Some of the vehicles we've looked at I've noticed some pretty deep scratches on the paint.
My question is how much will paint scratches affect the price when it comes to haggling?
For instance:
A-12 inch scratch that's deep and beyond buffing out
B-a Couple small scratches (as if someone tapped the point of a knife to paint) that are down to the metal and also can't be buffed out.

Obviously, every location is different (geographically speaking anyway) but can you give me a ballpark?

Andy, Thanks for the great question... First off sorry for taking so long to get your question answered I just got back from a mini vacation and forgot to put my questions on hold ....

Let's get right to it... the amount of leverage that ugly "unbuffable" scratches on a car give you for the purposes of negotiating the sales price down depends on what kind of a car we're talking about and it's approximate value. Here is what I pay for paint and body work... I paid $235 a panel so if the scratch was in the driver side quarter panel it would cost me $235 to have it fixed and repainted it involved the door and the rear quarter panel it would cost me $470. If I just need the hood shot with paint to cover up rock tips etc. it's $235. With that in mind just know that a scratch. .....actually let's call it a gouge on a 2012 Toyota Tacoma would be a real distraction in my attempts to sell it for as much as possible so I would pay the 235 and have it fixed. If the car is a $1000 Dodge Grand Caravan I wouldn't care at all or least not enough to have it fixed. Very few people who are looking at the Dodge van will be deterred by the scratch while 90% of the people looking at the Toyota would be. Those are the two ends of the measuring stick more or less but I think you get my point.

When making the decision to fix or don't fix it all boils down to the question ...if I fix this scratch how much more will I be able to sell it for when its done and how long will I be without it if I decide to get it done. (paint and body guys are notorious for over promising and under delivering when it comes to completion times)will

The short answer to your question is it's worth $235 if it's on one panel and it's worth $235 for every panel that it affects .... At least to me based on what I pay to have it fixed. Other dealers will have different costs associated with this type of fix especially if they have their own body shop ...if they do then look out the cost goes up by at least double. Ask me as many follow ups as you need I am back from my mini vacation and ready to answer quickly now  

Tips on Buying Cars

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Roger Alvey


I can answer any question about the car buying process. I am a recognized industry expert on all issues regarding auto finance, including sub prime and buy here pay here financing, I can answer questions about car lock out systems, GPS monitoring by your bank, and about auto recovery methods and defenses. I am a 20 yr car industry expert and can tell you what to look for in a used car, how to negotiate the deal, help with how to market your own car, and how to negotiate with the internet department of any car store. I can tell you every single way the dealer is set up to beat you and how to avoid those traps, I can discuss all aftermarket and extended service contract products you will be offered in the finance process, I have lectured extensively on "The Best Way to Buy a Car" to civic groups and university students. I am a credit expert and can tell you what the dealer and banks are looking for and the rate you can expect to pay. HERE IS THE LINK TO MY OTHER ALLEXPERTS CATEGORIES WHERE I HAVE ANSWERED LOTS OF QUESTIONS HERE IS A LINK TO MY BLOG


20 years industry experience in top management of dealerships and dealer groups. Recognized industry expert since 2004 in the Top 10 industry experts for The Gerson Lehrman Groups Auto Industry Council. I also do consulting work for Atheneum Partners, Expert 360, Expert Connect and Coleman Research. I have been a franchise owner and understand all facets of the auto industry from the time the car leaves the factory until it leaves the lot with it's new owner. I have written training materials for both the prime and the subprime sales and finance process.

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