Auto body question -- can't afford repairs


Hi everyone,

It’s a long story, but the short version is this: My car was stolen and it was involved in an accident. I’ve had trouble with my insurance company, so the car has been sitting in the garage and racking up storage fees for awhile. Part of the long story involves my insurance company not covering the damage. That part has been settled, so I don’t need advice on that aspect.

So, I would like to hand over the title of the vehicle to the auto body shop in return and call it even with the storage fees. Have any of you done this? Any advice?


There is much, so much, that you have left out. Has the car been repaired? Or is it still untouched? Did the insurance company pay anythin to the shop or did they send/will send you a check? What kind of car is it and what is its present book value?

In a sense we really don’t need to know. You have told us you have already made your decision. You are throwing in the towel. Calling it quits. Walking away. Well, that’s fine with us. It may turn out to be your best course of action. It certainly is the simplest and least stressful. We have no problem with that action. Proceed, and good luck, my friend.


I agree with SteveF; it’s time to get rid of the headache.
You might talk to the bodyshop and ask them if they would accept the title in lieu of any storage fees; and assuming the title is clear.
It’s always possible they could go after you legally for storage fees on the vehicle, but I doubt they would do this. They don’t need the headaches either.


See if the shop will accept your offer and if not, you will need to see a local lawyer. Even if I knew the law in my state, it ma not apply in yours.


Hey all–

Thanks for the responses. I don’t think it will get to the point where i need to consult a lawyer. If they don’t accept the offer, and they want their money, I’ll pay them. I was just wondering if it’s been done, or if auto body shops, in general, stay away from that sort of thing.

Thanks again!


I once “gave” a car with a blown engine to a shop in exchange for them towing, diagnosing, and storing it for a few weeks. I was 2000 miles from home and the car was not worth repairing, I’m sure they did OK on the parts and I just wanted to be done with it. I just signed over the title, took my plates, and walked away. No problem.


I don’t see anything complex about this. It is a simple barter. You sign the car over for maybe $1 and they give you a receipt that itemizes the cost and shows paid in full. Don’t go away without getting a receipt though so they can’t come back later. Also make sure that you transfer the title immediately so you are off the hook. That means going to the DMV for the transfer. Who knows what they will do with it and who will be driving so you want to be clearly off the hook. Its not enough to sign the title.