An auto collision can lead to the need for expensive auto repairs, which you may have to pay out of pocket depending on your insurance coverage. The following can help you save some cash on auto body collision repairs.
1. Opt for Paintless Repairs
Not every collision dent requires a major repair and repainting. If there is no damage to the paint and the dent doesn't contain a puncture or crease, your repair shop may be able to pull and hammer out the dent, without any type of rebuilding or painting. This can save you a lot of money over more extensive dent repairs, so always check to see if it is an option.
2. Request Aftermarket Parts
There are two types of car parts — OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and aftermarket. OEM parts are usually more expensive than aftermarket, so you can save a lot of cash by requesting aftermarket parts when available. Just keep in mind that in some cases you may need to use OEM to maintain your car's warranty, so always check with your mechanic to ensure the aftermarket option will be the best value overall.
3. Skip the Full Body Paint
It can be tempting to just let the shop repaint your entire car so that it looks new again, but a full paint job can be expensive if you are paying out of pocket. Instead, only paint the parts that are being repaired, and only do so if the paint is actually damaged. A skilled auto body repair shop can usually match the paint pretty well, so painting just the repaired section of the car won't obviously contrast with the old paint elsewhere.
4. Visit a Junkyard
Expensive or hard-to-find parts can sometimes be had for very little if they are pulled off of a junked car of the same make and model as yours. Items you can often save on by visiting a junkyard include mirrors, trim, and headlight assemblies. Many collision shops don't have the time to seek out these parts for you, but they will install them for a fee if you find them. Just check with the shop first to make sure they will install customer-supplied parts.
5. Don't Skimp
It may be tempting to save money by only addressing the cosmetic issues from the collision, but this can cost you more in the long run. It pays to have the shop check the frame and under the hood for hidden damages, as ignoring these can lead to more expensive repairs down the road. It's okay to save a few dollars with the previous tips, but don't let thrift end up costing you more in the long run.
Contact an auto collision repair service for more assistance.