does it ever make economic sense to do body repair before trading in a car
Only if you won't lose any money. What vehicle are you trading in, and what is the cost of the repair?
I agree 1,000 percent with Tom. Don't do it, you'll lose money. Only if someone else, like your insurance company is paying for it and it's someone else's fault and you're not being charged. Yes, what are you trading for? You might just as well sell the car privately especially if the person doesn't care about minor body damage and wants an otherwise mechanical sound car. I did that once and they only cared about the way the car drove. Be careful with dealers, they will frequently offer you more money and shrewdly add that to the price of the car you're buying.
How much body damage are we talking?
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