Repair or Replace? (Old Car)

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by Kaish, Sep 9, 2014.

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  1. Kaish

    Kaish Well-Known Member

    I ask this knowing nothing about cars and am afraid to ask my father because my insurance did not cover the damage to my car, but a couple months ago I accidentally rear ended someone. I finally took it to a body shop that will do the repairs and while I expected it to be about $600-$800, turns out it's $1600 to repair and that's just an estimate. I was told by another body shop (that was unable to handle the job) that there is damage to the bottom of the car. Should I have it repaired I'm sure there will be additional costs based on that. I'm a little baffled since I rear ended the person while changing lanes in bumper to bumper traffic. I didn't imagine it would cost this much, but to get to the point. I wonder at this point if it's even worth repairing. It's a 1996 Honda Civic Hatchback. I love this car and it's reliable, but it appears the Kelly Blue Book site values the make and model at $2031. With that information it would make perfect sense to sell the car and replace it, but I feel I'm missing something. Simply rear ending someone is enough to render it invaluable of repair? It makes me wonder what the insurance company would tell me if they were paying for it. I am as clueless as they come about this and would appreciate it greatly if someone could offer me some advice. Thanks!
     
  2. NYJmpMaster

    NYJmpMaster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    You are correct to question the idea of repairing. If you put $1600 into fixing it it is still only worth 2,000 by book (and that is to be honest too high for practical purposes as I do not believe you could get that selling it). If anything else breaks in the next year you have put more into the car than its total value. The good side is honda civics sell very well on the used market and you may be able to get a few hundred for it as it is.

    The other thing to consider is talk to the body shop and do not ask then to repair it completely but rather to repair it enough to pass inspection and be safe, which may be a number substantially less than the $1600 if you are willing to use it with some cosmetic issues. If you could get it down to a more reasonable amount like you were thinking originally it may be worth the repair. Also, check to see if there are any schools in your area that have autobody/auto tech programs where you could have the work done and pay only for parts (but they will take a couple weeks to do the work instead of a couple days). Many high schools have vocational and adult ed programs for that type of thing.

    Good luck and hope you find an affordable solution.
     
  3. Kaish

    Kaish Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the advice. I'm still in shock about the whole thing. The car is still drivable and considered safe. I actually put off taking it to a body shop because the damage wasn't that bad - smashed headlight cover and moderate size dent on the front bumper. The parts came out to about $700 and I guess the rest is labour costs. Looks like I should shop around and see if I can find a cheaper place.
     
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