Damaged car: when to repair it and when to change it

Is it worth repairing a damaged car? This is the classic question that many motorists ask themselves following an accident. Sometimes it is convenient, other times it is better to change it.

When it is not convenient to repair a damaged car

Repairing a damaged car may not be convenient on several occasions. First of all, before drawing any conclusions, it is necessary to have knowledge of the value of the vehicle in the state it was in before the accident. Only in this way is it possible to carry out an economic-financial analysis on what to do.

Having clear the pre-accident value and the cost of post-accident repairs, various cost-benefit calculations can be made.

The math would say that if the cost of the repair is greater than the value of the car, then the convenience of the repair is not there. Why spend 5,000 euros to repair a car that is only worth 3,000?

A purely financial context would say that repair is certainly not convenient and it is therefore important to get rid of the damaged vehicle as soon as possible.

Another situation in which the repair is not convenient is when any intervention would not guarantee the restoration of the perfect efficiency of the vehicle, both from the performance and safety aspects. In this case it means that the accident has irreparably damaged the frame or various mechanical or electronic parts.

Generally, the lower the value of the damaged vehicle, the more convenient it is to replace the vehicle.

When it is convenient to repair a damaged car

A new or in any case recent car always shows a good convenience to repair, even if the amount requested was large.

There are vehicles of one or two years that still have a good value retention (for example the representative cars, whose value can even be some tens of thousands of euros) that can be repaired with a figure lower than their value. In this case the repair of the damaged car is advisable and convenient.

Similarly, repair is logical when it is mainly a damage that has affected the bodywork and to a lesser extent the mechanical component. A good coachbuilder certainly manages to get the livery back as new. The convenience of repairing the damaged car is always available in the event that the damage is minor.

Then there are some discourses that go beyond mere economic analysis. If the needs of the family change and a second car is needed, it would be worth having the damaged car repaired to be able to keep it at home and not have to pay a double expense for a new car.

Preventive analysis

Regardless of everything, it is important to understand the needs. If you are not clear about your needs, any reasoning about the convenience of repairing a damaged car becomes useless.

Beyond the affective and emotional aspect (it is different to think about the refurbishment of a Ferrari or a small car) what you have to consider are your needs of use . If the car is your means of work (taxi driver, representative) think twice before having a vehicle that has suffered a serious accident repaired. This is because your car will most likely have several kilometers and many more will still have to go. If you are not guaranteed to have a reliable car, even if the amount is manageable, the value of the car will tend to decline in the short term.

It is different to think of a ‘ utility that is designed for city use for a few stretches and a few kilometers. In this case, the repair could be convenient even if the amount requested by the coachbuilder is medium-high: the value of the vehicle will therefore be greater.

Another aspect worth considering before making a hasty decision is to consider the dynamics of the accident. Whether or not the insurance company pays expenses is a good variable that could guide the decision. Often the insurance contracts and the various clauses present in it, know how to determine reimbursements of different entities depending on the cases. You must ascertain what you have not only signed with your company, but also the type of contract of the counterparty, through your trusted agent.

There are three variables that can influence the calculation of the convenience to repair: cost of spare parts , cost of labor , time required for repair .

  • Spare parts cost: between the original spare part and the compatible part, several tens or hundreds of euros may vary depending on the particular. Always ask the coachbuilder what kind of spare parts he plans to use. This is also useful for comparing the prices of multiple quotes.
  • Labor cost: varies by brand and workshop. However, there are generic bodywork, without them being linked to the brand of your car. Prices can vary a lot.
  • Repair time: in how many days will you have your car back in case you decide to have it repaired? Furthermore, how many hours must the body builder spend for the repair? Final prices vary significantly based on these responses.

In conclusion, we must say that there are objective situations in which it is worth repairing a damaged car and others in which it is more appropriate to think about its replacement (also because there are companies and dealers who collect damaged cars, paying for them immediately). However, other aspects that are perhaps less objective and more subjective must also be evaluated, as they depend on your specific needs.

This means that if a repair might be convenient for you, a direct replacement may be a better solution for another.

In any case it is advisable to ask for more quotes with the specification of the jobs and spare parts estimated, in order to make an objective comparison and, consequently, to have a 360-degree view of the different possibilities.


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