Body work after a couple of dings

OK, so very recently got into two little accidents, if you can call them that with my 2011 Honda Accord. First, a light tap on the rear bumper in, well, bumper-to-bumper traffic. The second, a moving security gate hit on the driver’s side.

Both people who caused the damage are willing to pay for repairs. So I went to my Honda dealership and got estimates from the in-house body repair person. He doesn’t work for Honda, but a body shop closeby. I have the feeling he’s overestimating the repairs (in the first place, saying the rear bumper needs to be replaced) and the people paying don’t buy his high estimates. For the bumper replacement, about $1400 Canadian. For the dent and paint, about $1000 Canadian.

This weekend, I’m going to another body shop myself to see if I can get lower estimates. I’m not sure who to trust in these cases, if the other estimates come in a lot lower.

Here’s the bumper damage: two chunks taken out

And here’s the other damage, some paint scraped on and a small dent:

Any advice here? Is going to the dealer person (who really seems like a middle man, quite frankly, so why pay extra for that?) the best plan? Or go directly to a body shop?

Thanks guys!


Get a few estimates from different body shops.



If someone is paying for the damage to your vehicle why are they not using their insurance ? And why do you care how low the cost is ? That is their problem . Also if there is more damage found after they start the work who is going to pay that difference ?

If there are holes in the bumper cover, it needs to be replaced. Sure it can be fixed if you do it yourself, but the time involved will cost more than a new cover. That dent on the door might be a case for a paintless dent removal-hard to tell but they get $150 or so per dent. Like I said a lady backed into me and the bumper cover, headlight, and painting was $3000 before they got done. Not like the old days with massive chrome bumpers.

We’re trying to avoid involving insurance. Thought it would be simple, but I’m still convinced now that it would be more headache going through insurance, for both parties. I care how low the cost is in order to actually get paid.

That is never a good idea . And letting the insurance handle it always easier and has a final result .

Get three estimates.

Take the average of three estimates and agree on that price.

That way you get your vehicle repaired, and the parties paying for the repairs don’t feel they’re getting screwed.

That’s the fairest way to do it without involving insurance.



If it was mine, I would bondo those 2 holes in the bumper cover and buy a can of matching paint to cover the damage.No way I would spend that much on a 8 year old car,

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As far as I am concerned that is why we pay $1000’s of dollars so that they can handle this stuff . Minor stuff like what you have shown should not raise anyone’s insurance .

I have a 9 year old vehicle and it will get a first class repair if damaged . Also the owner is not going to pay for this repair but why insurance is not being used makes no sense.

My wife got a hole in the rear bumper cover about the size of a baseball on our 2004 PT Cruiser. Bright Seamist Green Metallic. She backed into a pickups hitch ball When the car was 2 years old. I took it to a small 2 man body shop near me with a good reputation and a plaque on the wall certifingthem in urethane bumper repair. I could find no flaw in the repair and they only charged $235. The work was guaranteed as long as I owned the car.

The prices are not out of line for a good body shop. Those guys stand behind their work and will (usually) redo the job free, if it fails while you own the car. This car is 8 years old, so maybe you split the cost and do the work yourself, or live with less than perfect? On an 8 y.o. that could be an option.

Bumper: I cannot tell if the bumper shell is cracked (or if the metal bumper underneath is damaged). If it is cosmetic, perhaps a bit of polish, or touch up paint, would bring it back to your liking. You could ask the price for the shop to touch up, or spot spray, the area.

He’ll be using factory parts, guaranteed to fit. However, Amazon (and other locations) sell pre-painted bumper shells for $700. Or pay $70 and get an unpainted shell (unknown brand) and have the shop paint/mount it. There will be a color difference. Part of the shop’s extra cost is feathering into the surrounding body and color match.

For the body, I can’t tell what part that is. If concerned, could you live with the minor dent and use touch up paint to disguise the damage?

An example, in 2004 a car hit my Sidekick, broken turn signal, grill, and fender. $2200 at the shop. Aftermarket parts were $100 (including the new fender in primer) and another $200 in supplies. Factory parts would have been $600 more. It wasn’t a perfect match, but the $2K was a nice bonus. I tracked down the other car owner. Her daughter had started the car and ran it into my car, and a single mom of 2 could not afford this damage. $500 covered her cost and shocked the h*** out of her.

There is something to say about affording a certain level of kindness to your fellow man. The lady I backed into let me choose the shop (it is a very reputable shop) which was nice so I knew I wouldn’t get screwed. I think it helped that I had left a note on her car after I banged into it instead of just driving off. That let her know I wasn’t a jerk.

Good job, sir.

A co-worker thought it funny to leave a note (paraphrased), “I ran into your car and people are watching. Come find me, you ******”. He didn’t like my reply when he told it to a laughing crowd. lol

A couple weeks later, he wasn’t laughing. Apparently someone in the crowd left a different note, leaving the dude’s license plate number. I love it when Karma raises her lazy head.

That’s good, because they have to.

Pretty much any damage to a polyurethane part requires the part be replaced. It’s plastic, it’s not like you can pound it back into shape, and if you try to put body filler in those chunks, the bumper cover will flex as you’re driving around (they all do) and when that happens the filler will be popped out.

I’m not sure what the Canadian/USD rate is right now, but your estimates certainly sound in the ballpark to me.

If the people paying don’t want to have to pay “too much” for accident damage, then they shouldn’t cause accidents.

Well, I’ve been wrenching on cars for years and I’m pretty OK with it, but as far as I’m concerned body work is a form of witchcraft. It takes skill to do it right (skill I will never possess) and as such, it ain’t cheap. A door ding can be US$1,000 to fix. Super-cheap body shops often deliver super-cheap results. Don’t know if MAACO exists in Canada, but here they’re known for their inexpensive paint jobs that start peeling off after a couple of years. People who want a good paint job pay more (a lot more) to not go there.

A teenager hit my wife’s car about a month ago. Not too much damage. Bumper replacement, replace 1 wheel, pull out some dents in the fender, and repaint. Total? Just under $7,000.

Also keep in mind that they’re not just painting right where the paint got scraped off. They have to feather it in by painting a lot more of the car. Otherwise you’d notice where the new paint begins and the original paint ends.

Do. Not. Do. This.

I get that you’re trying to be nice. Don’t. It’s incredibly common to avoid insurance and then the offending party decides that your body shop is too expensive (sound familiar?), and wants to screw around, and half the time they “know a guy who’ll do it for 'em” who does a crap job, etc etc.

The father of the teenager who hit my wife’s car tried to get us to agree to bypass insurance. I said sure, cut me a check for $40,000, because I don’t know what the end-bill will be and I’m not going to screw around with having to haggle with the dink who’s kid damaged the car and end up having to beg him to give me the money to fix it, so I require a gross overpayment to guarantee that I won’t be underpaid. We went through insurance. :wink:

Don’t you think with damage this minor that insurance can be bypassed if the other party pays the estimate UP FRONT?

The thing is with the bumper, it doesn’t matter if its a couple holes or the whole thing is ripped off, replacement is the same. I’ve repaired a bumper before but you can’t use Bondo, you have to use a bumper repair kit so it sticks and so it is flexible. But like I said unless you are doing it yourself, labor wise it’s cheaper to replace.

It isn’t quite as funny when the cops show up at the door asking
questions about who drove the car on such-and-such day. They used
to not bother when it happened on private property, but laws keep
changing in our state.

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Body shops use plastic welding to repair a bumper cover.

No, because the estimate is just an estimate. It sometimes goes up once they’re in there doing the work. The insurance company won’t balk and you’ll get it fixed. The other party almost always will, and then what? Oftentimes now you have to sue them to get the extra money, and that takes time, meanwhile your car is sitting in the body shop not worked on unless you pay the difference, hoping to be reimbursed some day.