It was just a month ago when a coordination-challenged driver backed his BMW X1 SUV into the side of my 1991 Alfa Romeo Spider S4. I was in a parking lot in Edmonds, WA, waiting to begin a tour with the local Alfa club.
My partner Schön chased the driver down as he tried to flee the parking lot. She got the information necessary to let our insurance companies resolve things.
A high point in the comedy was the BMW driver of accusing me of “having the Alfa too close to him,” which is why he backed into my door. I explained that it was just his bad luck that I had one of those rare Alfas that could drive sideways across parking lots and into the rears of other cars.
I am wondering if I have a case for diminished value here. My car has 23,000 actual miles (verified by CARFAX) and had never been hit or painted. I found it on eBay, listed by an SCM member. I paid about $23k for it, which was on the high side, as it is an automatic. But it was worth it to me, as it was so pristine.
Now, while properly repaired by local vehicle repair shop and looking “like new,” I can never represent the car as “unhit” and “untouched.”
Does that lessen the value of the car? And if so, by how much? I know when I look at cars for sale online the first thing I want to see is a “clean” CARFAX.
We’re not talking about Bugatti Chiron or Ferrari Lusso values here. This is an inexpensive car and will never go up in value much.
But after this incident, it could go down. This was a $23k car. After the accident, is it a $15k car? Or even less as an automatic with a “dirty” CARFAX?
Or is it still a $23k car with an excellent repair job to minor door damage?
What are your thoughts? Should I ask for a diminished value settlement, and if so, how much?
Or is the potential loss involved so little it’s just not worth bothering about it?
I look forward to your opinions.