You’ve been in an accident and now you need to find out what you can do to lower the overall auto body repair cost you will incur once you take your car to the body shop. Below you will find a list of things you can do to help yourself obtain the lowest possible auto repair cost estimate.
1: Remove and Reinstall Trim Yourself
One of the big things that body shops charge labor for is the removal and re-installation of body trim and chrome pieces. Things like bumpers, chrome mirrors, door handles and body trim can be removed and installed at home. As long as driving the car to the shop doesn’t violate any provisions of your state’s vehicle code.
2: Strip Paint Yourself
If you’re having a car with rust painted, then you’ll want to have the paint stripped to bare metal so the rust can be treated and reversed. If you own a good orbital sander and go out and purchase a rust reversal product, such as Rust Mort, you can sand your car’s paint down to bare metal, and then apply the rust reversal product. Besides the work of repairing dents in body panels, this is the most time consuming evolution in the auto body repair process.
3: Fix Dents Yourself
Either go find a book on body repair at your local library or purchase one at your local chain parts retailer. Read it and learn the basic steps required to pull dents from body panels. Keep reading and learn the basics of finishing up the dent repair with body filler to fill the small imperfections left behind by most body repairs.
4: Mask Off Unpainted Areas Yourself
If you only plan on having a small area on your car fixed and painted, after performing the above steps, one other way to lower your total auto body repair cost is to mask off the areas that don’t require painting yourself. This will only work if the car is going to be towed to the paint shop, because getting in and out of the car will rip the masking paper. Of course, you won’t be able to mask off the windows or driver’s door opening, but you will be able to mask off door handles, key openings, and the bright work, or chrome pieces.
5: Look for Someone Moonlighting
If you really want to save money on your next auto body repair, look for someone that paints cars at home. Check online and check the local newspapers classifieds sections. Once you find someone advertising for body and paint work, contact them and see if they will allow you to help with the work to defray the total auto body repair cost as much as possible. Most people will welcome the help, since they can save you some money, which will give them word of mouth advertising. Having a helper will make the repair work go quicker, which means they can repair more cars in the same amount of time.
As a last resort for saving money on your auto body repair, you can always replace your car. However, you may end up paying more for the new car than what you saved in repair costs. Above, you have been given five things you can do to lower the total auto body repair costs you will have to pay.