Understanding Repair Costs After an Accident
In the aftermath of an auto accident there are many details to handle. Hopefully everyone involved is safe, and the worst thing you have to worry about is your car. Taking care of repairs, however, can be stressful and costly. Knowing what types of damage can occur in crashes, why your choice of body shop is important, and where the car repair cost averages come from, will go a long way toward giving you peace of mind.
Different Types of Accidents Cause Different Kinds of Damage
- A rear end collision, which frequently occurs during rush hour traffic, usually causes the least amount of damage, sometimes limited to scratches and dents. Even this type of accident can be very serious, especially if you lose control of your car after the impact. It is also possible that the crash can cause a ripple effect of damage throughout your vehicle. This type of accident can even cause axel, differential, or frame damage.
- A broadside collision, often referred to as a T-bone accident, is one in which the front of one vehicle crashes into the side of another. Typically this type of accident is caused by a driver running a red light or neglecting to obey a stop sign. Some of the possible damage in a T-bone accident includes drivetrain, engine, or frame damage.
- A front end collision is one of the most dangerous types of accidents, and can cause the most damage, even if you are traveling at a low speed. This type of accident is often the fault of one of the drivers, who may have been texting, falling asleep, or driving under the influence. The resulting devastating damage can include the transmission, engine, suspension or frame.
- A rollover collision can mean the total loss of your vehicle, since every side of the car and the roof can sustain damage. Tall vehicles such as SUVs and trucks are more likely to be in this kind of accident. A rollover happens when a vehicle goes out of control, possibly by over-correcting at a high rate of speed. It can also be caused by a distracted or impaired driver. There is usually extensive frame damage.
Your Choice of Body Shop is Important
In part, the cost of repairing your car is dependent upon the auto body repair shop that you choose to work on it. Be sure that the body shop you choose is licensed and qualified, able to work with your insurer, and covered under your policy.
Repair shops estimate repairs based on several criteria:
- The cost of parts and supplies
- The amount of time a mechanic will have to spend working on your vehicle
- The level of profitability the shop needs to maintain
These are costs established by the shop, and should not vary from customer to customer, although they could vary greatly from shop to shop.
Although estimates should be close to the the final cost, sometimes after an accident there is more damage than meets the eye. Occasionally needed repairs aren’t discovered until after the repair process begins.
Be sure to verify whether the shop is using original or aftermarket parts. Sometimes an unscrupulous repair shop will charge you for the more expensive parts made by the original manufacturer, and then install the cheaper aftermarket parts.
Understanding Car Repair Cost Averages
Repair cost is also dependent upon the year, make, and model of your car. Cars that are more common have parts that are easier to find and therefore less expensive. Parts in general, however, are becoming increasingly more expensive because they are more specialized. Computers control most newer cars, and electric parts are common.
Even the changing design of cars over the years has made them more vulnerable to damage and more expensive to repair. Although bumpers were originally designed to be roughly the same height on all vehicles, because they are no longer aligned, they do little to mitigate the damage in a crash. When a pickup or SUV runs into a smaller vehicle, the damage is usually substantial.
Another high cost item that is sometimes overlooked is the deployed airbag. Occasionally multiple airbags are deployed within one vehicle during impact. Airbag replacement cost usually includes the expensive plastic interior panels which are torn apart in the airbag explosion. A deployed airbag could necessitate replacing your dashboard, side columns, or steering wheel. The cost of airbag sensors can exceed $1000 plus labor for each set. Sometimes an insurance company will declare a car totaled, meaning a total loss, based solely on the air bags deploying.
Making the Right Choice
Understanding repair costs can help you choose the right auto body shop after an accident. It is important to your budget, your insurance claim, and the safety of driving your car after the repairs are complete. Tachoir Auto Body is fully committed to world-class repair services with state-of-the-art equipment and technology. Schedule your appointment today.