Does a chipped or cracked windshield affect your car’s value? You’re ready to buy a new vehicle. But the windshield in your soon-to-be old car has what seems like a minor chip. Before you list your car or try to trade it in, take a look at what you need to know about auto glass, damage, and value.
Do You Plan to Sell or Trade in Your Car?
The decision whether to repair a chip may depend on whether you want to sell your car directly to a buyer or trade it in to an auto dealer towards a new vehicle. Used car buyers typically expect some level of wear and tear. Provided you don’t advertise the car as “like-new” or in “pristine condition,” it’s likely the would-be buyer is willing to trade a few minor spots of wear for the price of a used (versus new-from-the-dealer) auto.
Unlike a private buyer, a car dealership isn’t likely to accept a vehicle with damage at the full trade-in price. The dealer may also not distinguish between minor and more serious windshield issues. This means it’s possible the dealer will categorize a tiny chip and a long crack in the same type of damage category.
How Does the Buyer See the Car?
Knowing that, say you’ve chosen to sell your car to a private buyer instead of trading it in to the dealer. Along with scratches in the paint, dings, or other similar types of issues, show your buyer the windshield chip. Even though it’s possible the would-be buyer will look the other way, they may also use the damage to negotiate a lower price — especially if the window chip isn’t the only sign of wear and tear.
A higher mileage car that was kept in top condition is often a better deal for the buyer. While a small windshield chip may seem like a minor flaw to you, a buyer may view this wear as indicative of overall car maintenance. If the buyer wants a gently used car or cares more about upkeep than mileage or the model year, you may need to repair the chip or replace the windshield before you sell it. A new windshield could attract this type of buyer and help you to sell the car in less time.
How Much Will the Windshield Repair Cost?
Will the windshield repair cost more than what you could recoup on the sale of the car? The price to repair or replace a windshield differs by region and contractor. While you could save money with the cheapest auto glass installation quote possible, you should never sacrifice quality for the price. A poorly done job could look messy or leave the windshield in worse condition than it already is.
Before you decide one way or the other, consider:
- The price a dealer will give you. Do you plan to trade in your car? If so, ask the dealer how much the windshield will impact the price. If the difference is negligible, trade-in the car as-is.
- The need for a repair versus replacement. A repair may cost less than a full windshield replacement. If a reputable company can repair the chip at a reasonable cost, this option can help you to boost the sales price.
- The rest of the car’s wear and tear.Is your car in near-perfect condition — minus a windshield chip? The cost you’ll pay may not outweigh what you could make back in a barely-used car sale.
- Your insurance. If your auto insurance pays for the repair or replacement, you can benefit from this service before you sell the car.