Two Prices for Auto Body Repair
I am fully aware of how ridiculously expensive body work is on cars. Tiny dents cost $1,000. Big dents cost $2,500 and crushed doors cost $4,000. http://www.cockeyed.com/science/repair/auto_repair.html
After earning a door-ding in Disneyland last month, I finally brought it in to get it fixed. The repair was to be covered by the insurance company of Scott Christainsen, who had accidentally opened his door into our door. His insurance company is Geico.
Unlike our previous repair, I didn't run around and get three estimates from three repair places. We just brought it in to the shop which already had a relationship with Geico- Shanahan's Auto Repair off of Power Inn Road.
I went on Saturday. They were open.
I was met at the repair place by Tom from Geico and a gal from Shanahans. Yes, the insurance agent was there with me, walking me through the process of auto repair. It was a little strange.
Tom wasn't at odds with the body shop. He was with them.
I showed him the dent and he said that they'd call me in a few hours with an estimate. I didn't care much about the price, as Gieco would be paying it.
Tom was really diligent about giving me all the details of the repair such as the clear coat on the roof rack, removing the speaker and the glass window from the door, etc. He was letting me know that this would be a careful, deliberate, professional body work job, not some crappy cover-up job. It still seemed odd that the insurance guy was making all these promises, not the body shop woman.
Add on Repair
On the same side of the car, but on a completely different panel, the Honda Pilot had a pre-existing dent. This one was sustained by hitting a branch which flew through the air after being trimmed by a huge truck we were following.
I didn't think we could pretend this was part of the same accident, nor would I have. I did think this might be an opportunity to get this second dent fixed at a slightly more affordable price. You know, they'd already have the paint mixed and everything.
I asked for an estimate for a repair on this additional crinkle.
In my head I had a price threshold already figured: $500. I bounced that number off of Stacy, and she was of a like mind. By that afternoon, I had my two estimates. The door ding was $968, the window frame wrinkle was $364.
I was thrilled.
One dent for $968, another for $364? Why?
One reason was that the second repair would be an easy addition once the car was stripped down and taped up for painting the first repair.
Another reason was because the first repair was being paid by insurance. It HAD to be repaired, and the money for the repair wasn't coming out of any one person's wallet. It was a corporation's money, in this case Geico's money, and Geico's agent wasn't going to haggle over a few hundred dollars, or maybe he would, but he wasn't going to get a better price by trying a shop down the road.
The second repair was my choice, being paid for with my cash. The estimate had to have figured that I'd balk at an additional $900 repair to the car, so maybe they gave me something I might actually go for: $364.
Nevermind that the second bodywork problem looked much trickier, a tight crinkle on a narrow column of the windshield post.
The repairs were done in about four days. They looked great! Like new!
I probably would never have brought the car in for a repair to that windshield column if it hadn't been for the Disneyland door ding. Now the car is looking top notch, and I have a feeling it was at a specially-discounted rate.
The Money you Could be Saving with Geico Costume | Upgrading the Upholstery from Cloth to Leather in the Honda Pilot | The High Price of Dents