When you're in a collision, there may be multiple types of damage that occur to your car. And unless the car has a very high resale value, you might not be eager to spend thousands of dollars to fix every single dent and scratch. It's a good idea to be strategic about the auto body work you choose to do.
Collisions can affect your car in more ways than what can be seen immediately. One thing to always check is wheel alignment. A collision may damage one wheel and turn it inward, throwing off the balance of the whole car. Collisions may also jiggle parts of the engine out of place and decrease their performance. Dents themselves are not just cosmetic; a dent could lead to rust in your car's future.
At the Least, Get an Estimate
The insurance claims adjuster will probably be the first person to make an estimate on your vehicle. If you hope to maximize your dollars, get an estimate on your vehicle from several auto repair centers. Each number will be different, so you will want to show the auto insurance claims adjuster any repair estimates that are higher than what they wrote in the claim. They may need to adjust their expectations and pay you a higher rate for your repairs.
Multiple repair estimates give you a higher chance of catching new flaws with your car, both cosmetically and mechanically. But getting multiple estimates is also helpful because you will then be able to choose the lowest rates for repairs you choose to do in the end.
Focus on Mechanics
If you only want to spend a limited amount on your collision repair, it's often best to start with the mechanical repairs and go from there. A beautiful car that guzzles gas or has poorly aligned wheels is not all that helpful. From there, anything that would prevent you from parking legally is the next type of repair to make. Many communities and parking lots with private ownership don't allow individuals to park with busted windows, severe dents or other visual deformities on the car.
As far as getting a new paint job or getting smaller dings repaired on your vehicle, it's probably not as big of a deal. Some people choose to just pocket the insurance money and leave that type of vehicle damage alone. And if you have an older car, some minor dings may be expected; the value of your car won't go down too far as long as the vehicle isn't unsightly.
Look for Used Auto Parts
Finally, make sure your auto body shop knows that you would like to go with used auto parts. You may have to provide these yourself, but many auto body shops know where to look. These will save you considerable amounts of money, and they tend to work as good as new in terms of cosmetics and function.
Contact a center like Goodfellow Motors Inc for more help.