Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Auto Body Damage: Fix It or Nix It?

Here's a question for the readers:

You're at fault in a small fender-bender in your family's sedan. The damage to your car, though, is purely cosmetic. Say, a moderately mushed left front fender. Quality repairs will cost between $600 and $800.

Do you spend the money to fix your car? At what level of savings, if any, does full repair become a viable option?

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— Posted by Michael @ 9:10 AM


Hmmmm. Nix it. It's just a car, right?

Anonymous Anonymous
, at 6:33 PM, June 17, 2008  

My truck is testament to my answer; NIX IT.
I have a crumpled left fender from rear-ending someone (they weren't hurt); a damaged rear wheelwell from a blowout @ 80mph, and a crumpled right hood edge from a deer hit & run. Seriously, the deer ran in front of the truck & got hit, but didn't stop!

If I did have the money to fix it; I still wouldn't. I'm more worried about the way it runs than how it looks. Besides, the 55mpg motorcycle is my primary transport now.


Anonymous Anonymous
, at 7:36 PM, June 17, 2008  

My driver put a small dent in my brand new $50,000 van (handicapped equipped). Never got it repaired and it tells a hoot of a story. Now way... Nix it. Put the money in a mutual fund or better yet, take the wife out for dinner.


You're guaranteed to not get the money back when you eventually sell the car or trade it in, so why spend the money just for some cosmetic damage? It's more than likely unimportant and the funds could be better invested elsewhere.

Nix it.


I know a person who would pay to pay to have a paint scratch touched up. I laugh but that person is also very frugal with money in other ways. They have maxed out contributions to retirement, no credit cards bills, large savings, etc. so I can't fault them if they have the $ to fix things like that.

Anonymous Anonymous
, at 12:05 PM, June 18, 2008  

We just went through this ourselves. Since we plan to drive the vehicle until the wheels fall off, and since it's my hubby's ride and he's just a LITTLE image-conscious, we decided to have it fixed. I was afraid that if we didn't the damage would become the impetus to trade up - and I'd much rather pay the one-time deductible than get back into car payments. We did negotiate with the body shop to reduce the overall repair bill by cutting out unnecessary aspects of the repair (i.e. replacing the slightly scratched insect deflector.) Post-repair, the vehicle looks as good as before the accident (and I detailed the interior for good measure.)
Susan in San Antonio

Anonymous Anonymous
, at 8:35 PM, June 23, 2008  
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