Car accidents can be avoided and should be avoided. However, we should always prepare for any eventuality. That’s why you take auto insurance. Besides insurance, you should know the expenses that come with these car collisions because you’re going to spend money to repair the exterior damage caused by the collisions. In this article, we tell you how much it costs to do these repairs after car collisions.
Types of Damage
Car collisions or accidents can be of different severity, resulting in different types of damage. Some of the damage might be minor, while some are serious enough to warrant repairs by professional auto mechanics. Sometimes, the damage can be so serious that the car is beyond repair. The car can only be sold as scrap.
The extent of the damage will determine how much you pay for repairs. The cost of minor auto dent repairs would be different from the cost of repairing whole parts. Correction of exterior damage also depends on materials or supplies that are needed. After replacing that bumper, you may need to repaint it to match it with other parts of the car.
Common types of body damage include windshield damage, paint damage, front or rear bumper damage, and door damage. Your car may have specific or unique needs that should be met to return it to its original form before the accident. Therefore, beyond these common types of car damage after accidents, your mechanic may recommend specific repairs.
Factors That Determine the Cost of Repairs
The type of damage has a significant impact on the amount of money you’re going to spend on repairs. Because it depends on the extent of damage, there is no exact figure. Rather, you can have a specific range that you’re sure the cost of repairing that part is going to fall within. For example, windshield crack repair will cost between $20 to $325. If it’s a minor crack, expect to pay anything close to $20. If there’s serious damage to the windshield, you’ll pay close to $325.
Beyond the extent of exterior damage, another significant determinant factor is the value of your vehicle. Expensive vehicles tend to have expensive repairs, mainly because they have expensive parts. The auto glass repair for a Mercedes, on average, would be more expensive than that of a typical Toyota. Replacing the side mirrors of an expensive BMW would not cost you the same as replacing similar parts for a cheap Toyota.
The type of auto body shop you use for your car repairs will also determine the amount of money you’re going to pay. This is because each repair shop has its own pricing structure. The pricing structure may depend on the location of the shop and the specialty of the mechanics, among other factors.
An additional factor of the cost of repairs is the availability of the parts that are required. If you have a car that needs parts to be imported before the exterior damage can be repaired, you’re going to pay more compared to a car that has locally available parts. The same applies to the tools needed for the repairs. If the tools are not locally available, your repair costs are going to be high.
The type of insurance you take will also determine the costs incurred for the repairs. We’re going to discuss more about this in the next section.
The Cost of Insurance
Some types of car damage repair are covered by insurance. However, this depends on the extent of the damage and the type of insurance coverage you carry. It also depends on the type of insurance the other party, the person who caused damage to your car, carries.
Taking all states and types of coverage into consideration, the average cost of car insurance in the United States is $52 for minimum coverage and $168 for full coverage, according to BankRate. Insurance costs vary by state, insurance companies, and type of coverage. The average cost for full-year coverage is $2,148 per year.
Regardless of the amount of money you pay for the policies, you must scrutinize the automotive insurance terms offered by the company. It’s in these terms that you’ll be able to tell if you’re covered in case of a collision.
Comprehensive insurance is supposed to cover the cost of repairs up to the value of your vehicle. The other type of insurance that guarantees to take care of your repair costs is collision insurance. Collision insurance undertakes to cover the costs of repairs in case of an accident, and even replace your car if it’s damaged beyond repair. In such cases, the insurance doesn’t just cover exterior damage, but internal parts of the car as well.
You may now wonder which is the better option between comprehensive insurance and collision insurance. Whereas collision insurance will only cover damage caused by a car crash, comprehensive insurance covers damage caused by almost everything else. The types of damage covered by comprehensive car insurance include fire, explosions, civil commissions, falling objects, acts of terrorism, vandalism, theft, damage caused by impact with animals, broken or shattered windows or windshields, and natural disasters including earthquakes, tornadoes, storms, hailstorms, and hurricanes.
While evaluating the cost of insurance and how much goes to repairs, it’s important to note that comprehensive insurance is usually subject to deductibles. This is the amount of money you’re supposed to pay before your cover kicks in. For example, if your deductible is $400 and the cost of repairing exterior damage to your car is $900, you’ll pay the $400 and your insurer will pay the remaining $500.
Cost of Window Repairs
One important part of your car that you can’t ignore if it gets damaged is your window. Can you imagine driving with a broken window? The experience is not pleasant. And that’s why you’ll have the window or windshield fixed as soon as possible, regardless of the cost that comes with it.
Car windows are built differently from doors. The car doors and back glass are hardened during manufacturing. These parts will only shatter into small pieces in case of an accident. However, your front and rear windows as well as the windshield will need complete replacement.
The cost of auto window replacements depends on several factors. One of them is the type of car. The other is the repair shop you use. Expect to pay between $100 and $400 to replace the windshield, a rear car window, or a side window. Of course, this is what it will cost you without insurance. If you own a classic or exotic car, you’ll pay more for the replacement.
You should repair your windshield as soon as you notice any damage on it. A small crack may seem negligible, but it can develop into longer and wider cracks, developing into what is known as a ‘spider web’. At this point, it becomes more expensive to repair the damage than what you’d have incurred if you dealt with the minor crack.
Cost of Repairing Dents
Car dents are those types of exterior damage that you never want to see on your car. They spoil the image of your car and can give a bad impression as well. This is why some people would try to fix minor dents, and even cover the repaired damage with car touch-up paint. No one will notice that there was any damage to the car. One of the reasons you should fix the dent and repaint the car is because visible dents can reduce the resale value of your car.
Typical dent repair costs are in the range of $50 to $2,500. As you’d imagine, this broad range is because the cost depends on the severity and size of the dent, the type of car, and the repair shop that you use. Small dents from a piece of hail or flying rock would cost you $50 to $100. Big dents caused by collisions would cost you above $100. Expensive dent repairs are also associated with parts that have sensors, such as the bumper.
Dents can occur on any part of the car. You may not even notice that there is a dent in a specific car, only for the dent to be pointed out by used car salesmen when you’re trying to sell your car. This is because these salesmen do thorough scrutiny of cars when trading. Remember that these dents can lower the value of your car.
How You Can Reduce Repair Costs
As you’ve observed so far, some repairs are cheap, while others are expensive and run into thousands of dollars. Whether you’re dealing with exterior damage or need some internal parts of your car replaced, one of the first things that pop up in your mind when these repairs are needed is the costs that come with it. If you own an expensive car, it becomes even more challenging to cut down on the cost of repair.
If you’ve followed this article keenly, then now you know that insurance can help you save costs of repairs. The extent of coverage depends on the terms. If you feel aggrieved and the insurer is not fulfilling their contractual terms, you may need the counsel of an auto accident lawyer. The lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company and help you pursue compensation for your losses. It’s recommended that you ensure you have insurance if you think you’ll not be able to pay for repairs in case of an accident.
You can also reduce costs by shopping for a repair shop that fits your budget. Before committing to the repairs, you should ask each shop for their estimates. Do your homework on repair costs in your city or state and only use a shop that’s within what is considered reasonable costs in your area.
How to Find a Good Repair Shop
We’ve already pointed out that you can cut down the cost of repairs by using the right repair shop that is within your budget. Besides the cost, you want to use mechanics who are qualified and can fix the specific type of exterior damage on your car.
The easy way to find a good shop in your area is to ask your family or friends for recommendations. If your friends or colleagues are raving about a particular shop, you can give it a try. You can also check the shops’ online reviews. Ensure that you’re checking genuine reviews. While at it, check their websites for information on the type of services they provide, their staff, and their qualifications. In addition, check out any type of incentives they use to increase car count. It could be specific discounts or free complimentary services.
You should be keen on the type of qualifications the mechanics hold. Are they certified technicians? Are they certified by associations like I-CAR? Are they generalists or specialists? Some car owners are more specific about their needs and only prefer specialized mechanics.
Cost of Renting a Car
While your car’s exterior damage is being fixed, you still want to move around. This means that you may have to rent a car. Car rental charges vary depending on the type of car you want to hire, the size, the duration, the location, and the company you’re hiring the car from.
Car rental can be as cheap as $15 a day to as pricey as $500 a day. However, the average cost of renting a car in the United States is around $80. You can shop around for truck rental services in your area to get a good deal that will suit you as you wait for your car to get fixed.
Taking good care of your car means having it well-maintained. For example, you should change the oil at the appropriate mileage or period. Still, you’ll need to do repairs on certain occasions, such as after collisions. The cost of repairing exterior damage caused by a collision might be expensive, and that’s one of the reasons you should have comprehensive or collision insurance.