Spotting Accident Damage In A Car

Buying a car that has been involved in an accident isn't necessarily a bad idea. However, you should be aware of this fact and also know about the extent of the damage plus the repairs that followed. Here are some of the signs that may mean you are looking at an accident car:

Telltale Painting Signs

A car's paint is one of the first things you should check if you want to gauge whether the car has been involved in an accident. This is because, in many cases, the painter doesn't do as good a job as the car manufacturer did on the car when painting it. Specifically, you should look out for things like:

  • Differences in paint colors on different panels of the car
  • A lumpy or dull panel finish
  • Paint spots on parts of the car that shouldn't be painted

Misaligned Body Parts

Car makers spend an awful lot of time to ensure that their car parts fit perfectly. Misaligned parts are not only a source of an eyesore, but they are also threats to the car because they may allow water to get into the car and cost rust. Unfortunately, most auto body shops don't have the expertise to get the alignment right when repairing an accident-damaged car. Therefore, you should be suspicious of a car whose parts don't align perfectly. This may be the case, for example, if there are unnatural gaps between different panels or if the doors, boot and/or bonnet don't close perfectly.


It is also a good idea to check under the car for signs of welding. Sure, a car can be welded for many other reasons other than an accident, but those are usually for small parts. A huge welded section of the car screams accident. You should particularly watch out for a welding line across the width of the floor plan since it may indicate a "cut and shut" job where two halves of cars are used to make a single car.

Undercoat Cover-Up

Lastly, you should also watch out for undercoat cover-up, which is a fresh application of a rubberized undercoat under the car. This coat is typically meant to protect the car from road issues such as dust and salt. However, some people use it to cover up defects on the underside of the car, such as the defects that might arise after an accident.

Hopefully, the information above will help you know the accident history of any car you wish to purchase. Buying from a reputable dealership will help you in this regard because you will have the complete history of the car. Talk to a business like Corporate Auto Wholesale to learn more.