How Do You Calculate the Diminished Value of a Car?

To calculate the diminished value of a wrecked car, subtract the value of the car after its repairs are complete from the value of the car before the accident, Anderson Law Firm suggests. Use this number to determine whether the car is eligible for a diminished value claim.

To calculate the diminished value of a car online, use the National Association of Diminished Value Appraisers' calculator. The calculator asks for the make and year of the car, as well as its engine size and transmission. Other factors, such as car color and number of doors, affect the original value of the car. Include information about the accident, such as the extent of the damage and the total cost of repairs. After entering this information, click the Calculate button to get the final diminished value.

Potential buyers devalue cars that have been in accidents, even when the car shows no obvious damage, Anderson Law Firm says. The amount of money lost on the sale of a car due to it being in an accident is the inherent diminished value. File a claim through the at-fault driver's insurance company to receive compensation.

Cars that are worth more than $10,000, and that had more than $4,000 worth of repairs are usually eligible for diminished value claims, Anderson Law Firm explains. The claim depends on the state's statute of limitations and settlement offers from insurance companies.