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Car bodywork repairs

Discussion in 'off topic' started by eisenach, Oct 20, 2021.

  1. eisenach

    eisenach #JeSuisProf

    It's some time since I've had a bump. This one is a bit unusual, in that no other motorist was involved, and it ocurred on a cross channel ferry. I'm not quite sure what my best course of action is.

    The car is 16 plate Citroën C3 Picasso, with 80k+ on the clock.

    Returning to England on the Dieppe ferry last Thursday, I was directed up onto deck 5, the flimsy mobile thing above the lorries. There's quite a lot of supporting ironwork to avoid, meaning you have to take it quite wide to get into the lanes. At the top of the ramp, I was greeted by a somewhat chaotic scene, with 3 crew members trying to direct cars into the narrow lanes, all giving conflicting and confusing instructions. I paused, and on moving off, failed to see a bit of bulkhead sticking out, damaging the front wing and bumper.


    I've written to DFDS / Transmanche, and they're investigating, but I don't expect much from them, as I suppose the accident is my fault, despite their lack of clarity. The least I can hope is that they do some crew training and improve their procedures.

    I've just had a quotation for £2.4k for the repairs, which seems exhorbitant to me.

    The car is driveable, and is probably not an MoT failure once the fog light is replaced. Do I leave it as it is, polishing out the worst cosmetic damage ? Do I claim on my insurance ? Even asking for advice from them might put a flag on policy.

    I'll get my usual garage to look at it, though they don't do bodywork repairs, and there's another outfit in town I can get a quotation from, so I'll try them.

    It left a rather sour taste at the end of three-and-a-half weeks of great holidays in Germany and the French Alps, seeing friends. I normally travel Brittany Ferries from Le Havre, but they're not running at the moment, and as their service from Caen is twice the price, I thought I'd save a few bob by going from Dieppe. False economy !

    Any advice gratefully received.
  2. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

    what's the car worth?

    what's the breakdown of the £2.4k quote?
  3. JensenHealey

    JensenHealey pfm Member

    You cannot decide until you have some idea of cost to fix - so I would get a couple of quotes and go from there. Don't forget that quotes for this sort of thing are always +VAT - so do not be surprised when you get to collect the repaired car. Smart repairs are worth a consultation - find a local one, not the big national franchise.
  4. eisenach

    eisenach #JeSuisProf

    Parts / Panels Requiring Renewal
    R.F WING

    Parts / Panels Requiring Repair

    Associated Work Required
    Corrosion Prote TO 1ST PANEL
    Parts / Panels Requiring Painting

    Additional Items

    Labour: £581.40 Paint Materials: £598.48
    Parts: £425.71 Additional Items: £347.50
    Total Excl VAT £1,953.09
    VAT @ 20 % £390.62
    Total Incl VAT £2,343.71


    At a guess, the car before the accident was probably worth somewhere between £3.5k to £4k, though I haven't checked. I will.
  5. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

    get some more quotes, although I don't think it is massively excessive (given my experience of £9k worth of body work repairs a few years ago)

    at least the quote includes VAT
    Nic Robinson likes this.
  6. Puggie

    Puggie pfm Member

    How good do you need it to be? Does the wing bolt on or weld on (I don't know my citroens). You could try and find a replacement bumper and wing from a breakers in the correct colour, if you are handy with spanners and/or have a friend who is, you could just go down this route (assuming they just bolt on). I would expect £250-300 would get you the parts from a breaker in decent condition (expect small dents and stone chips). The parts wont be as new condition, the fit may not be perfect and the colour match not perfect either, but it would look a lot more respectable for a lot less outlay.
  7. Nero

    Nero Call me 'Goose'

    I had a £5k bill when someone modified my front wing in an airport carpark. It didn't help that the wing was carbon fibre.

    A lot of it is replacement panels and bumpers, which have to be sprayed to colour match as they come in just primed AFAIK. If you can get the panels from a breaker, a spray shop will be cheaper. The rest looks cosmetic - do you really need the wheel refurbed? You can get that done elsewhere.

    Of course, there's always insurance, but you'll pay in the end :(
  8. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    Leave as is - last time I was run off the road by someone who didn't stop, and did similar damage, I did exactly that. Corrosion prevention is so good these days that after around two years even the paintless areas were free of rust.
    (The car was then written off after going round a blind bend to find boy-racer on the wrong side of the road, who also did not stop. The following car ploughed into the back of me after the emergency stop.)
    I have done the same with previous cars, sod the rust.
    A car is a tool for getting conveniently from A to B, nothing more, nothing less.
  9. Nero

    Nero Call me 'Goose'

    Actually, re-reading the OP, I kind of agree. 80k on the clock? 16 plate? If it doesn't affect the MOT, I'd live with it and put an order in for an MDAC instead :)
    eisenach and Stuart Frazer like this.
  10. colasblue

    colasblue pfm Member

    £2400 is the "go away we don't want your business" price. Shop around and you can probably get damage like that fixed for around £500 + the cost of that fog light insert. It doesn't look like it needs any panels or a new bumper cover. That wing will easily pull out.
  11. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

    I reckon most places around here will charge around £2k.
  12. colasblue

    colasblue pfm Member

    In my part of the world £2.5k worth or repairs would write off 80% of the cars on the local roads!

    All you need do is find the body shop where the taxis go!
  13. Stuart Frazer

    Stuart Frazer pfm Member

    Get another 2 or 3 quotes.

    If you have legal protection on your car insurance, perhaps that's an option if the Ferry Company won't play ball.

    Failing that, do as per @colasblue suggested and use a backstreet body shop. I've been amazed at some of the high-end cars in these places - Bentleys, Porsche etc. It made me question if certain dealers or repair companies just subcontracted the repair work out to these places!
  14. eisenach

    eisenach #JeSuisProf

    Thanks for all the replies and advice. I've spent the afternoon taking it around the likely suspects, though there aren't that many choices where I live.

    The other accredited bodywork shop is giving me a quote, but I suspect it'll be similar to the first.

    The garage that looks after the car doesn't think there's anything that would fail an MoT. Even the foglight only became a requirement for equipped vehicles registered after 2018, he says.

    He also told me about a small place that is likely to do a make-do-and-mend job for me, so I popped round and he's going to give me a quotation.

    Everyone is unanimous that the wing panel needs replacing, and it's moved a bit. The rest ... ? If it can be tidied up, that'll be fine.
    If there are no grounds for a MoT failure, I might just leave it and buy some rubbing compound.

    The unanimous view also seems to be that the insurance would write it off if I tried to claim, condemning a perfectly good vehicle to scrap, leaving me with a reduced NC bonus and not much cash to buy a replacement. Not very environmentally friendly, either.
    Thanks again for all the comments.
  15. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

    no panel benders like that left round here
  16. Guinnless

    Guinnless pfm Member

    Technically you should inform your insuranc regardless. If you leave it unrepaired and get involved in an accident at a later date then you could find yourself in a bit of doo-dar!
    Insurance companies are the Mafia with headed notepaper.

    Find a breakers with the same colour panels and you could be fixed for under a grand
    gavreid likes this.
  17. robbyd

    robbyd pfm Member

    You can buy a brand new front wing in primer for 92.00 on ebay. A used front bumper wont be much - an independent body shop could even spray them off the car and you or friend fit them.

    sounds like you're being charged for 'check and quality control', and 'check technical info' - that bs and part of the job - not an extra.
  18. calorgas

    calorgas Ratty bumpkin

    Yep I reckon that's right. There's a car and commercial repair place near my work that mainly does repairs to buses and coaches but also privately owned cars. A few people from my office have had bodywork repairs done there over the years and they always seem quite reasonable.
  19. Rack Kit

    Rack Kit pfm Member

    What's the point in paying for insurance if you're not going to use it? That's a fair bit of damage, so let them sort it. I doubt your insurance will go up that much unless you've made other recent claims.
  20. richardg

    richardg Admonishtrator

    I'm in the supply of motorbike body parts and so have contacts to work on bits for us as and when required. I'd be expecting the bodywork prep and paint and lacquer to cost me about 300 on your car. (A friend grazed the entire left side of a scirocco and got it filled and repainted for 700 here, that's front wing, door and rear wing). I'd have to source the light and plastic chrome thing myself probably and any other part that needed replacing.

    It can be really cheap if you have the right contact. As an example our best contact relacquers scratched mudguards for 5 euros. It just goes in the spray booth when a car is being done. So there is no set up. He just turns to the left and applies a bit more, but on our mudguard.

    I think even without contacts, it's a ripoff quote. Keep shopping and go to the cheap places that don't have a heated spray booth eg. I'm not sure you car has enough value for a premium bodyshop.

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