Dent repair cost


#1

When I returned a minivan to Enterprise car rental, there was a small dent in the rear hatch. About 6" diameter, 1/2" deep at most. No scratches or cracks in the paint. I don’t know how the dent got there, especially as it is above the fender.

I used my VISA for insurance on the rental, so Enterprise got the dent repaired and will send the bill to VISA.

But the bill is $1000.00! I know car repair bills can be large, but for such a small repair, this seems outrageous.

Especially as Enterprise refuses to tell me the name of the car repair shop they used, and won’t send me a copy of the invoice. I suspect a scam here. Does the shop over bill knowing that Enterprise will pay whatever they ask for?

Does anyone know what is a reasonable charge for a dent like this one?


#2

Unfortunately, smelling and proving scam is very hard. Let Visa handle it. I would suggest a different approach if you were personally liable for the bill. Visa’s staff are fully aware of the potential scams, and can cry foul, or not.

It is difficult to determine if the charge is fair, or not, because body shop rates vary a bit across the country, plus we cannot see the dent, so any evaluation we provide is dubious at best.


#3

The dent is likely $500+(typical minimal price of any body work). You also pay for the assumed out of service time (rental) for the vehicle while fixed so $1000 may be plausible. This out of service charge is noted on your rental agreement.


#4

With a rental car, always inspect the car before leaving the lot, particularly with Enterprise. I rented an Enterprise car and it had a small ding in a front fender. They gave me a hard time, but I was able to prove that the dent was there when I rented the car. I made them check their records and that confirmed my proof. I would have forgotten about it, but my wife had an Enterprise rental car that was rented for her by the institution where we work when the vehicles owned by the institution are all checked out. She didn’t check the car because it was raining very hard. When she turned it in, she was accused of putting a dent in the car. She drove the car only one way to an airport 60 miles away where she turned it in. She told them to contact our institution which does a lot of business with Enterprise. Suddenly, they discovered that the dent was already there. From these two experiences, plus the fact that Enterprise does not supply the key fob (at least on the vehicles I have rented or have been rented for me), I avoid this company if I have a choice.


#5

1/2 inch deep? Yeah, pulling that out, reprofiling the surface, and blending in new paint will go through $1000 pretty easily.


#6

We cannot see the dent or any details so it’s hard to say. A dent that is 1/2" deep is actually pretty deep. A $1000 repair can be obtained very easily since the repair will be more than just filling and painting. To do it properly the glass must be pulled, all badges replaced, gate handle removed, etc. since the entire gate may not be painted but it will be completely cleared. I am not siding with Enterprise but this bill is entirely possible.


#7

Yeah, Andrew is right. You pay not only for the dent repair but the lost rental while the car is in the shop. I’m always super careful with rentals.


#8

From your description - easily $1000. My daughter scratched a plastic bumper on a car in a parking lot. $700. I put a crease in the door of the neighbor’s old Dodge pickup that I could cover with my hand, about 1/4" deep. He got three estimates and the cheapest was $2300.