If you end up in an accident or damage your car for any reason, then chances are you’re probably thinking about repairing it to its former glory. Perhaps you accidentally swerved to the kerb and scratched some paint and dented the body, or maybe you were in a car accident that crushed one side of the vehicle. Whatever the incident and whatever the damage, it’s natural to want to repair your vehicle.
However, there are times when repairing a damaged vehicle might not work in your favour. For instance, if you typically drive a used car and it’s a fairly old vehicle, then sourcing parts might not be cheap and you might end up spending a lot of money just to repair an old vehicle. In some cases, the damage estimate might far exceed the amount you’re willing to pay. If it’s an accident you were in, then your insurance policy might not give you the right to pick where you want your repairs performed. This ultimately leads to problems since the repair shop they pick might use old parts, they might be low quality or they might not even fix your vehicle properly.
Out of all the problems that you might encounter with a damaged vehicle, here are some ways to repair your vehicle and determine if it’s worth fixing it or simply scrapping it for something newer.
Can you trust your mechanic?
Most people don’t trust their mechanic, especially if they have no idea about the technical jargon that the repair shop throws at them. If your local mechanic is spouting words that you don’t even understand, then don’t be afraid to ask them to explain it in layman’s terms. If they’re incapable of doing that, seek help with a manager or another mechanic. If even they aren’t willing to explain it in simpler terms to someone that doesn’t tinker with vehicles, then it might be time to finally ditch that garage and find a new one.
Far too many mechanics cheat the system by adding on additional costs for various things that just don’t make sense. They prey on the uninformed and use it as a way to squeeze more money from you. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that all mechanics will try to cheat you out of your money. Money mechanics are honest and will give you proper price quotes on your repairs, but do try to look out for scammers and people who boost up repair prices in order to get more cash from you.
Diminished value claims can help
When you speak to an attorney about your vehicle after an accident, they’ll most likely tell you that if the cost of your repairs exceeds the Kelly Blue Book value, then your insurance company will pay you the excess in cash. This is fantastic because it allows you to get a working car and your policy covers the additional costs. However, they probably don’t tell you about diminished value returns.
It’s typical for insurance companies to cover the cost of your repairs. However, even after the repairs are performed, the value of your vehicle will go down because it’s just not “new” anymore and it’s been damaged by the incident. As a result, the value of your car can diminish and to help recuperate those losses, attorneys can get you more money through a diminished value claim. In short, you’ll get the full repair money for your vehicle but you’ll also get a bit extra because your vehicle is damaged, has a history and simply isn’t the same it was before the incident.
Look out for new damage
Another issue that comes with repairing a damaged vehicle is when the initial inspection doesn’t reveal hidden damage underneath the hood. This is something that should be checked by a trusted mechanic, but don’t be surprised if you get a call telling you that you’ve suddenly got more problems to deal with. If your repairs are the result of an accident, then it’ll take a few length calls back and forth with your insurance company and mechanic to ensure that it’s all paid for.
Unfortunately, if it’s because of your own mistake, then you’ll have to pay up the money and accept your higher repair costs. Another thing to be wary of in these cases is the possibility of used parts. Not every garage stocks up the original parts for each vehicle, meaning that you’ll eventually have to resort to used parts if your vehicle is old or rare. In some cases, your insurance policy might not cover the use of new parts and will simply assign you used parts with questionable quality.