Time to say goodbye?

I recently got into an accident in my 1999 Toyota Camry. The insurance company isn’t going to pay for repairs. I recently bought the car for $2500 the lowest estimate for repairs is $1854. Is it time to say goodbye or fix her up?

If I fix her, any one have tips on how not to get ripped off by the body repair shop?

How much you bought the car for is irrelevant. How much is it worth now? How many miles are on the odometer?

If the insurance company totaled this vehicle, you might be wise to let it go. It’s just a Camry, not a 1967 Corvette after all.

So you don’t have collision insurance? (just want to understand why ‘the insurance company isn’t going to pay’) You are right to be concerned, an $1854 ‘estimate’ is just that, it could end up being higher and you don’t have the leverage an insurance company does. The best way to getting a good repair is to find out which shops have treated your friends/relatives well. But they probably had insurance, so it’s still a tough call.

Do some research on nadaguides.com; kbb.com and edmunds.com to try and establish a realistic value for your car. Also check local sale prices for an equivalent year/model/miles car. The shop estimate may be at the “teetering” point of total/replace. Be prepared to negotiate a reasonable reimbursement if your car is totaled.

I am loyal to one auto body shop because I learned about them from word of mouth and they do a good job, so they get my repeat business. Asking an insurance agent about which shops they dealt with are reasonable, dependable and prompt on finishing the work can work, too. I have used this approach when we had an out of town accident.

If the car is driveable, then you can also get some free estimates from a variety of shops. Have them explain or clarify your questions about the intended repairs.

When we bought the car we were in the proccess of moving and didn’t notice the mistake in insurance coverage - leading to a lack of collision coverage. The car is drivable and I have gone around to 5 shops getting quotes ranging from totaled to $1854 as a “firm estimate”. It looks like the car was worth $3700-4700.

The repairs include a new driverside door, a new front fender, and work to the rocker panal and pillars next to the door.

Whose fault was the accident? If it was somebody else’s fault, make their insurance company pay.

Search local salvage yards for a new door and front fender.