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Paint on Bumpers

My 17 year old daughter recently chipped the paint – and I do mean just chipped the paint – on someone’s van as she was pulling into a parking spot. Clearly, she misjudge.

The owner of the van happened to witness the event and went wild, to the point that a passerby had to come to my daughter’s aide.

I agreed to pay for the damage out-of-pocket. I just found out that the estimate(from the dealer) to repair the paint chip is $323.20.

Is this reasonable? And would the driver get a better price from an independent collision shop? I’m really not sure of the make or model of the van.

Paint on plastic has flex agent to withstand normal thermal expansion and some deflection. When it chips it can crack and separate from the part in much larger area than the apparent damage to a novice. They will repaint the entire part. You don’t get to bargain shop on where they go to get it fixed. If you don’t like it submit to your insurance and let them pay. Price seems reasonable for prep and paint on bumper…

I also think the estimate is reasonable. Paint does not come cheap if it’s done right and you want it done right.

The whole bumper needs to be painted for it to look right. That seems like a reasonable price for that.

I just went through the same thing with my 2011 Toyota Sienna. A person pulled into a parking place and put a scratch in the back bumper. The person requested I take the car to the Buick dealer’s bodyshop where it turns out, she is on a first name basis with the staff–she is known for running into things. She said she didn’t want to tell her insurance company unless the repair would cost more than $2500.

At any rate, the repair was $285. The bumper had to be removed, stripped and repainted. This took three days because the paint has to cure.

The one good thing that came out of this mishap is that I did find a great body shop if I ever need bodywork. I took my van in on a Monday morrning. When I called Wednesday afternoon, the body shop manager said that they needed another half hour to finish the job. The half hour was spent washing and polishing the whole van and vacuuming the interior.

The urethane bumpers do require a special process to repair. The estimate seems reasonable.

I cam empathize with both sides here. First I have three daughters who each did this kind of thing in their early years of driving. It comes with the territory of being a Dad. I did the same thing in trying to pay out of pocket to keep insurance down.

On the other hand, my wife’s new Toyota with just over 900 (that’s HUNDRED!) miles on it got clipped in the rear bumper by a 1985 Plymouth minivan beater in a parking lot. The driver was an elderly co-worker who decided to just take off and pretend it didn’t happen.
She was chased down by the police and given a ticket, and the damage was turned into her insurance. Bill was just under a grand.
I was clearly hot at the hit and run on our brand new vehicle. I do control my emotions much better than the guy your daughter ran into, but I can see how people get upset.
I was quite concerned that the bumper paint on a brand new car would never again match the body. The body shop did do an excellent repair, but who knows if the repaired paint will hold up like factory over the years. It just ticked me off until I consigned to the fact that it’s just a car, and not worth blowing a gasket over. You would like to see your new car at least get a thousand miles on it before the first damage though…