Should I repair body damage before I sell my car?

I have a 91 Taurus in very good condition aside from a crumpled front fender. The accident wasn’t covered by insurance, so I’d have to pay out of pocket to have it fixed.

My question is, will I get my investment back – or more – when I sell the car? Or can I save myself the headache of dealing with a body shop and just sell it as is?

Actually, what I’m asking is, will I get MORE than my investment back if I have the body damage repaired before I sell it? If it would be a wash, then selling it as is would be my preference.

The repairs will cost more than the return when you sell it. C’mon, this is a 19 year-old car, and not even close to being a desired ‘classic’. $1500 max. With $500 in body work, maybe $1700. Your better off keeping it until something big breaks, and selling it for junk.

Your Taurus is 20 years old, how much do you expect to sell it for? Do you have an estimate from a body shop? If they can make it look decent for about $150 of work it might be worth it. Otherwise, the body work could quickly equal the value of the car. You are talking about a car with a value of about $500.

Ooops! My bad – it’s a 2001, not a 1991. And I definitely want to sell it; I have another car I like much better (a 97 Geo Tracker – go figure). I inherited both of them from my parents when they died.

A 2001 is worth something over $3,000 in good condition. You should get an estimate from a body shop. Some bumpers can be repaired pretty reasonably, it depends on the car and the damage.

The value of the car would probably be increased with the repair enough to make it worthwhile. Get an estimate, there is no charge for that. Tell the shop you are selling the car and you want it to look good, but not necessarily perfect and they can give you a quote.

The flip side to that, though, is that if the OP wants to sell it quickly, fixing the damage would help. I personally am going to pass on buying a car that would require bodywork unless I know I can get the bodywork done and have the purchase price + bodywork price not add up to more than the value of the car (which is pretty much impossible unless we’re talking about a classic or much newer car). A lot of people are going to have that approach.

Get estimates for the repair and then decide. Anyone who wants it will repair it and the damage is their ticket to get the car cheaply - maybe for a few hundred dollars. I’m inclined to repair it, but the cost of repair will tell you better. Also, what other issues are there? It all adds up, and if the sum of repairs is morethan the car is worth, you might just donate it.

I don’t think you’ll ever get your money back. But get an estimate and tell them you are selling it and only fix it to make it look passable.

You will NOT get your money back on this unless the shop gets a fender used fender of the same color. But even then the color most likely will not match 100%.

I’d let a sleeping dog sleep.