Body work

To be able to judge the body work of a car, you need a keen eye. Dents and scratches are easy to spot, but in general these irregularities do not hide major damage. Remember that you are buying a used car, which will never be in mint condition. In this article we look for indicators that point out serious damage from accidents in the past.

First indication

The body work of a car gives you the first indication of possible structural damage. To be able to make a thorough judgement, you will have to distinguish simple dents and scratches from signs of structural damage from past accidents.


Small dents are spotted the easiest when the car is dry and well lit. Look along the side of the body work and all the small dents will reveal themselves. When the dents are small enough, there is a good chance that these can be removed. The person who does this restyles the vehicle. In short this means paintless dent repair, and it is a cheap way to get the body work smooth again.

Body work

Minor paintwork damage can also be repaired. Fine scratches from carwash brushes for example, can best be polished by a professional. Deep scratches and chippings can be touched up with a paint pen. If you are doing this by yourself, make sure that the surface is clean and free from rust. This prevents the nasty surprise of rust emerging from under the touched up places.

Finally, do not try to touch up scratches by using the paint abundantly. Fill them up gradually and be cautious with the amounts you use.

Does the body work look good at first sight and are the most striking dents and scratches repairable? Now it is time to check if the car has had a serious accident in the past. The easiest way to do this is by calling the garages and dealerships you find in the maintenance history. Especially cars that are maintained by brand dealerships are well documented. But it is also possible to do a check yourself. In the following part of this article you will find tricks and tips on this subject.