Car Buying

Should You Fix Curbed Wheels Before Selling Your Car?

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author photo by Doug DeMuro December 2015

Preparing a car for sale isn't always an easy process. Not only do you have to clean it up, create an advertisement for it and meet potential buyers for test drives, but you also have to make sure your paperwork is together and the car is in good enough condition for a sale. Does that condition include fixing curbed wheels? It's a good question, and we have the answer.

What Are Curbed Wheels?

What is a curbed wheel? It's a colloquial term used in the car world to describe the situation when a vehicle's wheel or hubcap has sustained damage from being rubbed along a curb, often referred to as curb rash. This type of damage is fairly common if you aren't careful when parking, and sometimes it can happen even if you are careful. In fact, if you're looking for a used car, you'll likely note many models have a little curb rash on their wheels.

Should You Fix a Curbed Wheel?

Generally speaking, we think you should fix a curbed wheel before you sell a car. There are several reasons why, including the fact that it will (obviously) make the wheel look better and will suggest to a potential buyer that you took good care of the vehicle. These two items could mean you'll receive more money for the car when you sell it.

The main reason we think you should fix curb rash before selling a car, however, is that it's surprisingly cheap to do. While many drivers get upset at the idea of damaging a wheel on a curb, the simple truth is that fixing curbed wheels can be done without great expense at prices that can go as low as $50 per wheel. Better yet, a mobile wheel specialist can come to you to fix your damaged wheel, which means you don't even need to bring it into a shop and wait while it's worked on.

Some Exceptions

With that said, there are a few exceptions to our rule that you should usually fix curb-damaged wheels before you sell a car. Namely, we think there are three reasons why you shouldn't fix a damaged wheel. One is if your car isn't highly valuable -- if it's worth less than $10,000 or so, for example. In that case, you probably won't see a return on your investment by fixing curb-damaged wheels.

Additionally, you may want to avoid fixing curb-damaged wheels if they're aftermarket wheels made of an unusual material. If this is the case, you probably already know it, and you know how expensive it can be to fix. Finally, we don't suggest fixing your curbed wheels if you simply plan to trade in your car, as it's unlikely you'll see any of your money back unless they're severely damaged.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Should You Fix Curbed Wheels Before Selling Your Car? - Autotrader