When I bought my first car, I went big straight away, and having learned to drive on relatively compact vehicles, parking was a bit of a challenge. Especially as I had the smallest parking space in the world. Ok, maybe it is a bit much, but really, it was super small. So many times during the few months I owned the car, I made a little bump in the back by hitting the columns of the parking space. Every time, I thought “oh great, the car value has just dropped by £100”. It may be exaggerating a bit, but what if a bigger fender bender happens? What is your car worth? What do you do with it?
In the UK, the hourly rate of garage labour is generally above £80. So my estimate of losing £100 was not so crazy, as they usually charge you by the hour to fix your car. For a bigger damage, the bill can go up quickly. So not you are faced with several options for your car:
1. You can see how much your insurance would give you for it. Normally, you would have to pay the excess, which can be anywhere from nothing to £1,000 and up, and then if the vehicle is in such a bad shape it can’t be fixed up, even if you have coverage like Youi car insurance, the company will just leave it where you have it, and you are now the proud owner of a heavy piece of metal.
2. You can get a damaged car valuation to know how much your car is worth as is, and compare that quote with the cost of fixing it up. If the insurance offered you a very small check to help with the repairs, or if your premium would go up drastically for cashing the check, and you prefer to take matters in your own hands, that is a good option.
3. You can try to dismantle the car yourself and sell it for parts. Especially if your car is a bit old but has a few parts in good shapes, you can try to sell them on Ebay or Gumtree. I have been on the lookout for used parts for my cars here and there, and they are always sold at a high premium by the original manufacturer, so buying second hand parts is an affordable option. Still, you can command a pretty good price as your product is rare and in demand. That is if you have a quite popular model and make of car, otherwise it may be a bit more complicated to sell the parts.
4. You can try to fix it up yourself, or with another garage. Garages who work with insurances often get a bad rap for pushing up prices for insurance companies. So how about you go around a bit and get more quotes? It is possible that, once you discount your deductible and add your potential premium raise for next year, you would be better off having the car fixed privately. Also, there are lots of tutorials online on how to perform car maintenance and repairs, so you may be able to do the simpler fixes on your own and save a little more there.