Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Need a quick estimate from you guys, trying not to go through insurance


first time post. But I figure I needed some opinions on the potential costs. Got into a side swipe accident, other party doesn’t want to go through insurance, neither do I. I’m post some images, any tips would be much appreciated. So first pic is my car, passenger side, no damage to the front door, but the panel is shifted causing the door to creak against it. No damage to the head lights. Hub cap is a big chipped but that’s not major concern.

Thanks all.

I strongly urge you to go through your insurance

These kind of accidents are almost always much more costly than you think

There is no such thing as a $500 repair . . . it’s probably going to cost well over $1000, perhaps over $2000

There is ALWAYS the possibility of “hidden” damage, such as a bent rim, damaged tire, damaged hub, strut, wheel bearing, etc.

Again, I strongly urge both of you to use your insurance and get the vehicles repaired properly

That’s what insurance is for

1 Like

Agree; this is much more costly than you think! See your insurance.

Any guess and I do mean guess you get from the internet is worthless . Use your insurance.


Roll by a couple of body/collision shops and get estimates. Then you’ll know. As others have suggested, it needs to be evaluated in real time, not cyber guessing.

I strongly and emphatically urge you to use your insurance.
This is going to cost many thousands, especially if the unibody has been thrown out of whompus (alignment of its critical mounting points, and there are many).

Here’s another vote for using your insurer. Your wheel was hit, and ther might be damage to the suspension, wheel bearing, and CV joints. A half-baked job fixing what you guess might be wrong could leave you with a huge bill that only you will pay.

Why don’t you want to go through your insurer?

Too many unanswered questions to form an opinion…

I don’t know the age/miles/condition or value of this vehicle. Can you elaborate, a bit?

Is this the only damaged area on the whole car? It’s it nice shape, otherwise?

Who was at fault?
How much deductible would you be paying if you used insurance?

Are there reasons/concerns that make you not want to trigger an insurance claim? What are they?

After you get your estimates (and it’s determined that there isn’t hidden damage that would prevent it, you may find that you could obtain a white used fender and a wheel cover from an auto recycling yard. that would save money, especially if you can hang it yourself.

How perfect do you want it?
You probably could polish most of the black (tire rubber?) streaking off the bumper cover and touch-up the areas where paint is missing.

Check around (online and locally) for availability of used parts in your year/color and see if it’s an option.

Did the car track/steer differently at all following the crash?
Any “pull” or effort to keep the car going straight or pulling to right or left when you release your grip on the wheel?

Is the angle of the steering wheel the same when driving straight on a fairly flat road?

If the steering wheel was “centered” and sitting straight , not slightly tilted prior to collision, is it still in that same position while driving?

A good body/collision shop will go over this with you.
Some insurance companies would allow a wheel alignment when the wheel/wheel cover is involved, and some probably not unless there is evidence of a steering issue.

A hit on a wheel can damage steering and/or suspension components. Again, it’s not possible to tell online.

If the paint is all there, and the black areas are not missing paint, i would give paintless dent repair a shot if you are willing to accept not perfect but very acceptable.

“other party doesn’t want to go through insurance”

Maybe the other guy doesn’t even have insurance . . .

But that’s no reason not to contact your own insurance

You have insurance . . . right ?!

That’s what it’s there for, so that your car gets repaired properly

My daughter had a tiny dent on the rear door, some paint chipping, very minor damage, insurance covered it but the total was $1,600. She had to pay $50 deductible. My SWAG on this damage is $3,000 to $5,000. Go through your insurance to get your self protected and get a proper repair.

Hmmm… Were we out bar hopping last night? Was the “Other guy” a parked car? Or were both parties drunk?

This whole thing seems shady.

1 Like

I don’t want to be redundant ( of course, as soon as that statement is made, you know that there will be some redundancies!), but one of my favorite sayings is…
Auto body repair invariably costs more than you think it should.

Unless there is something of an unusual nature that the OP doesn’t want us to know about, I have to agree with those who said that he needs to notify his insurance company.


Thanks for all the replies guys!

So to go over some questions:

The reason why I prefer not to go through ICBC is: I’m right now paying 2500 approx for car insurance, with a 15% discount ( each year you get 5% if you don’t get into accidents). If I make a claim and at fault ( in this case, even though I feel the other guy sped, I was the one who turned into his lane), I would jump up 6 steps (see meaning I would pay 30+ surcharge the following year. Pretty crazy… If I can avoid this, that’d be ideal.

My deductible for collision is $1000. Getting parts from an autoyard isn’t a bad idea. Assuming they have them and relatively decent price. It’s a point A to B car. I took the car for a test run today, everything seems to be running okay, no leaks, lights all work, no steering issues). I don’t really care about the bumper scratches, it’s the front panel that I would want to fix.

The other party has insurance. He was driving this car…sorry for bad pic. But looks like a Lancer, older model. He seemed pretty chill about things, said that it looked like minor fix on his front driver door.

No, I didn’t drink at all yesterday. The other party, well I’m not too sure about them, seemed coherent enough.

Thanks again everyone!

I didn’t think you had to explain the reasons for not wanting to go through your insurance company. It’s no ones business. Your question was about how much it may costs to repair. Just go to a junk yard and get a panel, then to Maaco and get a cheap $50 paint job and put the panel on yourself. Voila…and your parents will never know it happened :).

I’d just go to a body shop and get an estimate. Not to be contrar but I’ve had bumps worse than that that involved nothing except a panel replacement and paint, but a body shop would be better able to advise. Fenders are going to be $2-300 and bumper covers $250 or so for new if it needs replacing. The shop I have used charges $150 per panel for painting. Mounting a fender and bumper cover is really no more than a few hours labor if nothing else is bent. So my rough guess in the midwest would be in the $1000-1500 range unless you go for used parts. I’ve paid anywhere from $25 to $100 for a used fender.

1 Like


Thanks for coming back. Looks like I had it figured pretty well… I think you’re on the right track.

To sum it up, get estimates (with repair ideas), make sure steering and suspension aren’t damaged, check out some recycled fenders and wheel covers, and then decide and proceed.

Good luck,

In case you aren’t aware of it, your insurance company almost surely runs a check of databases each year in order to determine if you have gotten any tickets, and if there are any accident reports relating to you. As a result, if there is a police accident report on file, and you fail to get your insurance company “involved”, the insurance company might interpret this as an indication that you are trying to conceal information from them, and that would not be a good thing for you.

That’s not true. And in many states that would be against insurance laws.