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Body Damage... fix now, or when I want to sell?

I have a 2011 Honda Insight, great car (average 44.5mpg), the problem is that I got dinged (by a friend, so no insurance was called) on the panel right above the gas fill cap. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the car, operationally this has no effect, complements some of the bumper dings that I have (I park in the city, parallel), but I am reminded of the ding every time I fill the tank, and I feel bad that I am driving a dented car.

So the car has about 20Kmiles on it, my job is changing in about 6 or 9 months, so I will put a lot less miles on the car, and I was thinking that there was a good chance I would sell the car next spring as a 2 year old 30-35K mile Hybrid. My dilemma is: do I spend the money now, and fix it up so I can ride around in a dent-free car, or wait until I want to sell it and fix up the dents, and any other dents that accumulate by then right before I sell it?

Thanks in advance…
N2L

Is the paint damaged?
If so, it will need to be fixed now before rust sets in. Rust is your enemy. If given a chance, it could rot panels out to the point where new panels will need to be welded in and actual body work needs to be done.
That’s expensive so you want to avoid that.

If the paint is not damaged but the panel is just pushed in, it can often be fixed by someone that knows what he’s doing. Don’t be tempted to bang it back yourself with a hammer, though. A good body man may be able to pop and finesse that dent right out from the inside. If you’re lucky and the paint isn’t cracked, it may not even require a respray of the panel.
This means it may not be a crazy expensive fix.

I believe the Insights have an aluminum body so rust is not going to be a problem…You will find body shops get shy about working on aluminum bodied cars, and when you do find one, it will be expensive…I would get a repair estimate now, then perhaps you will change your mind about filing an insurance claim…Depending on how bad the “ding” is, it might not be worth fixing…

Oh, them things have aluminum bodies?
If so, I agree: that will definitely be more expensive than steel.

Stop by a reputable local body shop and ask for an estimate. Also, ask them about matching your paint. Some are difficult. Sometimes it’s better just to leave a minor ding than to try to match paint.

The first gen. (2 seater) had an aluminum body. I don’t know if the current one does, it shares basic structure with the (steel) Fit.

How bad’s the ding? You might check with a ‘paintless dent removal’ shop if it’s not too bad.

I would get 3 estimates to fix it and then discuss it with your friend. If your friend wants a few more estimates, then get them. I think that 6 estimates is enough for you and your friend to decide which one to accept. Of course, your friend is responsible and should pay for the repairs.

Try a paintless dent repair place, saved me $1300 from a crease in the hood by a blown over ladder!

Try a paintless dent repair place

If you are a candidate with the paintless, system.

If you post a picture we would know better. Sometimes it is not worth fixing. Also would depend on whether you are going to sell it privately or trade in to a dealer.

If you’re planning on fixing it anyway, and you can afford to do so, might as well fix it now IMHO. It’s not like the work will degrade over time, and you will have a good looking car instead of an embarrassingly dented one. If you can afford the price and the time to do it, why wait?

Fix it now so YOU can enjoy it. If it needs a little TLC before you trade it, then deal with that at that time. Rocketman

I would just fix it now and benefit from a dent free car for a while. I agree with the paintless method if not damaged paint. I had 21 hail dings done for a little over $1000 and just like new with no paint work needed.

If you can live with it and it has other dings and you live in the city where this happens regularly, live with it and save your money.

If you indeed “feel bad” while driving a dented car you have a choice. Put your money into therapy or fixing the dent.