How Long Should I Book a Rental Car for While Waiting on Car Repairs?
When your car needs repairs, it may need to spend anywhere from a day to several weeks at the body shop. The good news is that there are many options for getting a rental car while car is being repaired. In fact, in some situations, you may end up not needing to spend a dime out of pocket for the repairs or the rental car.
How Long Do Body Shops Take for Most Repairs?
There is no one answer to this question. In most cases, drivers can expect to wait anywhere from one to 30 days for the body shop to complete car repairs. The type of repairs also makes a big difference. Here are some average times for the most common ones:
- One day to repair or replace the bumper
- One day to repair the windshield
- One to two days for minor bodywork
- One to two days to repair your paint job
- One to two weeks to complete repairs to internal parts
- Up to 30 days to repair extensive damage.
If you have gotten car repairs done after a collision in the past decade or two, you may wonder why workers now need so much time. Modern-day vehicles feature their own onboard computing technology that takes some time to recalibrate. This adds complexities and time to a process that was once mostly a physical undertaking.
What Additional Factors Affect the Time?
There are several factors outside of the body shop’s control that may also have a strong impact on how long the process takes. These are the most common factors to consider:
- How long insurance companies take to come to an agreement on who the at-fault driver is and who is responsible for paying
- How long the at-fault driver’s insurance company takes to process the claim
- If you are at the at-fault driver, whether you have collision coverage, the deductible and other resources available to cover expenses
- The extent of the repairs the body shop needs to complete to restore the vehicle to its pre-accident condition
- The current workload of the body shop
- How long it takes for necessary parts to ship, especially for foreign imports
What Are Drivers’ Options for Securing a Rental Vehicle?
Today, there are far more opportunities to rent a car than ever before. If you only have liability insurance or you were involved in a hit-and-run accident, you may have fewer options available. Even so, these are the main options to look into
The Insurance Company
Most insurance companies provide rental cars as an add-on to your insurance policy. This is not mandatory, so many drivers opt out of getting it. Check your policy to see whether it is included. Note that your insurance company may set restrictions on when you get a rental car, why, for how long and what type you can get. The other driver’s insurance company could also end up providing a vehicle.
Your Body Shop
Even if the insurance company does not provide you with a vehicle, you may have access to one from the body shop. Many body shops have partnerships with rental car companies that are either on-site or otherwise nearby. Ask your body shop about available rental car options. If your insurance company expects you to find the rental car they pay for on your own, this is a good option for that.
Rental Car Companies
If neither your insurance company nor body shop can provide you with a vehicle, visit local rental car companies to see what you can find. Rental car companies usually provide discounts on their daily rates when you rent cars for weeks or a month at a time. If they do not volunteer a discount, ask for one. You may also qualify based on other factors, such as being a veteran or senior. Shop around to see who can offer you the best deal.
If you are on a tight budget and have to pay for repairs out of pocket, there are online apps that may help you find a rental car. These rental cars are provided by individuals. They are personal cars that the individuals rent out to others. Quality control may be an issue here, so do your due diligence to ensure you get a good vehicle at a decent price.
What Should You Look for in a Bodyshop?
At Tachoir Auto Body, we understand how inconvenient it is to be without your personal vehicle for days at a time. We remain committed to getting you back behind the wheel as soon as possible, even when that means going to bat with your insurance company on your behalf. Some of the insurance companies we have worked with include Geico, Progressive, and Penn National.
To simplify your car rental process, we have partnered with Enterprise and have cars on-site for you to choose from. This makes it easy for you to drop your car off and leave in another with no need to rely on someone else to pick you up or drop you off. Contact us for more information.