I have taken care of the “mechanical” aspects of my car by following the periodical maintenance consistently and this is one of the reasons on how the car made it to fifteen years and has at least 245,000 miles! And believe it or not, it is still in good running condition.
On the other hand, the physical attribute is a different story. My car has suffered a lot of body damages due to numerous accidents.
- TheÂ door on the left rear side had a pretty bad damage and this one was caused by a hit and run. Those irresponsible and inconsiderate people struck my car in the parking lot but took off and never left any insurance information. The saddest part was that there were no witnesses that came forward. I no longer have the full or comprehensive coverage since it does not make sense to pay for a high premium knowing that the book value of the car is around $2,500 only. So this means that I have to pay for the damages myself.
- The fender and bender has been replaced so many times due to car accidents to no fault of mine and even though the other party paid for the damages, the fact that the car suffered damages may also cause the frame to deteriorate down the road. So far, body shop experts say that there were no damages to the frame.
- There were a lot of dents and dings around the car.
- And lastly, the paint has really faded on some areas while there are a lot of scratches and paint chip throughout the body.
So you can pretty much paint a picture on how my car looks like!
At first, I did not want to fix all the damages and restore the paint but since the car still runs good and may potentially last for another 5 years, I decided to have it fixed.
I’ve been approached by a lot of Â people and offered their services for just $250 to $300 to fix the damage but I just do not trust those people. I much rather have it fixed at a body shop and obtain warranty on the job.
So I went to various car body shops and asked for quotes and these were what I got:
- $1,499 – brand new door including paint job just for the door at a reputable non-chained body repair shop in my area. This is just to fix the door
- $1,216 – used door at another reputable body repair shop
- $591 – to fix the door
- $2,500 – to get a quality paint for the whole car
- $1,000 – to fix the door, fix the other dents, and paint job for the whole car done at one of the chain body paint shop. The price was actually $1,180 but I had just negotiated the price to drop it down to $1,000.
The problem with fixing and painting just the doors is that my car would look funny when the job is finished. One door looks brand new while the rest of the body were still in a pretty bad shape!
So, of course I opted for the $1,000 job, which offered the most value.
If my car were newer, I would have replaced the door and spent money on the paint job for the whole car for a total cost of around $4,000. Since it is old and may only last around 5 more years, I figure that the $1,000 body and whole car paint job is good enough. Besides it has a 5 year warranty for any peeling and fading. In addition, they claim that the paint is good for 9 years.
All I want is to drive a presentable car since it just not very appealing driving around with that big damage. In addition, often times, we have guest coming from other countries or states and it’s also good to have a “spruce up” car! Purchasing a new car is still not in our financial agenda yet so I much rather just fix the car.
Last year alone, I only spent $500 in repairs and have been averaging only $300 in repairs for the past five years. By far, this is the biggest repair expense that I have incurred on but the fact that I am still gaining substantial savings versus purchasing a new car with an average monthly payment of around $500 (for the same car plus comprehensive insurance coverage). I do not count the maintenance into the equation since even on a brand new car, I would still spend money on oil change, tune-ups, tires, brake pads, etc. I normally count only the repairs to see if it’s time to purchase a new car.
So far, our car is still hanging in there.