When I was parking a few months ago, I bumped into the door of another car. I left a note for the driver. The driver called me back a few days later and told me not to worry about it - her nephew (an auto mechanic) told her it was just body damage and he would fix it for free. Two months later, she told me she brought it to another garage and they told her the steel bar in the door was damaged and the door had to be replaced ($1000). A second opinion brought it down to $500 with no door replacement. With all these differing opinions, how am I supposed to know which one is right? Is it possible that the same damage would bring three totally different appraisals?
With what did you bump into the door? Your bumper or did you just ding it with your own door?
Side impact beams are an integral part of a modern vehicle’s safety system. If it was my door you hit, I would want it restored to its original strength. Whether this would involve replacing the entire door is impossible to say over the Internet.
I must commend you for doing the right thing and leaving your contact info. Last week, someone hit my sister’s parked car, causing considerable damage. Hit and run, of course. The estimate for repair is over $1000; she’s out the $500 deductible plus the loss of use of her car for several days…
I only read two estimates $500 & $1000, free does not count as it was just an opinion.
$500 is more than reasonable if she will take it with no further obligation from you(get that in writing).
In general these types of things are much better to go through insurance. They have appraisers who are paid to make the proper determination and make the other driver or yourself whole. If damage is $1000 or less (sounds like it could be) they typically do not change your rates unless you have had other incidents. This is the much better route and the insurance company’s job.