The more you know about how vehicles are repaired, the better idea you will have about knowing if your car is back on the road worthy condition or not.
Firstly to put this into perspective here is a factual number to think about. The government releases statistics on reported road casualties and even though the stats are always a year or two behind (with the latest at the time of writing being from 2012), in the UK there were 195,723 casualties in road accidents reported to the police. That’s 536 per day! Remember this is a figure for solely casualties and not minor accidents where police were not called to the scene.
Fortunately the majority of accidents are just small prangs and scrapes where the drivers and passengers aren’t seriously hurt. However these smaller ‘fender benders’ can still have a massive impact on the outside of your car, especially with today’s cars being made to absorb that impact minimizing possible injuries to the people inside.
1. Who is repairing your vehicle?
If a third party is involved it is advisable to go through your insurance companies. They will already have partnered with body repair shops nationwide and will advise you of a local garage that they work with in your area. These insurance ‘approved’ garages are usually reputable and will repair
Be wary of aftermarket parts to a good standard. But remember, the insurance industry is a business and there is a chance that the insurance company could have been enticed to partner with a garage due to them offering lower repair costs. This could mean that your car is less likely to be written off as the repair would seem to cost less; on the other hand when you get the car back you may realise the repair has been poor. It is always worth researching who is doing a repair on your car using an unbiased online website with customer reviews. It is your choice who you trust to carry out the repair work and you can always request for a different garage if you are not happy.
The next factor to think about is what parts the garage will be using. They don’t normally repair with used parts and should quote you for new parts. But whether these are genuine parts from the manufacturer or parts made by a third party company can make a difference. For example body panels may not fit correctly and you could be left with unsightly gaps around the repaired area which could lower the resale value of your vehicle.
2. Thoroughly inspect any completed paintwork
After the repair has been completed, find out which parts have been sprayed and look at the car close up and from a short distance. It can be a challenge to match the original paintwork colour of a car, especially if the paint has faded at all. Unfortunately it is quite common for repaired cars to have panels with different shades of paint across the bodywork due to a poor colour matching job. Sometimes the body shop will ‘over spray’ onto the neighbouring panels which can help in blending in any paint. However they don’t always do this and if the colour is not matching there may be further work that needs to be carried out before you can be satisfied with the job.
3. Check the dash board!
When you have an accident you may not immediately notice a new warning light flash up on your dash. There are a few different warning lights that can indicate other problems with the car apart from panel damage. The engine management light (also known as check engine light) is one of the most common and your car will need to be plugged into a fault code reader before a garage will know why it has appeared. Your airbag light could also turn on and after a front end accident your coolant light could also come on as the radiator that cools your engine is normally the first component behind the bumper to become damaged.
Taking these four points into account, it is sometimes not worth the time and money to have the car repaired. It is always worth requesting a quote from Scrap Car Comparison to see how much you could get for your car. The quotes are free and only take a couple of minutes of your time by filling in your registration and post code on the website www.scrapcarcomparison.co.uk.
Alternatively you can always call Scrap Car Comparison on 033 33 44 99 50 and speak to a representative to obtain a valuation for your car. They offer a free collection too and can collect from a garage if your car has been taken to one.