The seller says it was just a dented fender. He bought it soon after the accident and fixed it. I asked him for details on it and he said he didn't have any. It was this year so I would assume a mechanic could tell if any major work had been done? Would the police dept give a copy of the accident report? If it checks out ok, how much should something like this reduce resale value?
When my parents owned their 2007 camry, they got t boned in an intersection. Nearly totaled the car, and bent the frame. Car was in the shop over month. When we went to sell the car to the dealer for a tj, all the carfax said that there was an accident....no damage reported.....the car was tboned by a guy going 45 mph.
Check the bottom of the axles for damage, test drive it and turn the tires to see if there is any unnecessary rub, get under that thing and search for damage, check the frame... any way to post a picture of the dent? And I agree with Mr. Sinister, if he will or you wan't to take it to a body man to see if they can check it out before you buy do that.
Any TJ with some kind of front damage should have the front axle housing checked to see if it is bent/straight. Also, check the front trailing arms and mounts on the axle housing. A good sign of a bent axle housing is diff fluid leaking out of one of the axle seals from the end tubes. Also, check the transfer case for cracks in the front. They get the front drive shaft pushed back into them when hit in the front.
I personally own 2 YJs that are re-constructed titled. It doesn't make a big deal to me, but some people want clean titles for trades. Dealerships don't want them, but in the private sale market, it is up to you what you think the vehicle is worth.
I guess it depends. My 98 had a front end wreck that was reported to insurance. Repairs were expensive but excellent. I can't tell by looking at it or driving it that there is a difference. If anything, it looks better now that it has new hood, fender, bumper, fog lights, side light marker, etc. I would have it checked out before I bought any used Jeep. If the previous owner dogged it then the wreck could be the least of your worries.