Your brand new sports car is rear-ended at a stop sign. The other guy's insurance company pays for all the repairs at the best body shop in town using only original parts. It even paid for a luxury rental while your car was being fixed.

Are you happy?

Well, you might be if you plan to drive the car until the wheels fall off. Probably not if you think you may want to sell or trade the car in the next few years. Because one thing's for certain: No matter how well your car has been fixed, it's not worth as much as it was moments before the guy on the cell phone piled into you from behind.

Why? Because your car now has a record of being wrecked that will follow it wherever it goes. And if any potential buyer checks with several growing car-history services, they're not going to be willing to pay as much for it as they would have before it was hit -- regardless how well it's been repaired.