Author Topic: Doh!!! Backed into a pillar  (Read 2504 times)

stlbrah

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Doh!!! Backed into a pillar
« on: August 16, 2016, 11:51:08 AM »
I backed into a pillar in a parking garage yesterday.

I already took it by for an estimate and it is $1200. They have to bend the metal part of the body back where there is 3-4 inch deep dent, replace the rear bumper cover, and repaint it. I am wondering if paying the $500 deductible is worth it. I am considering just leaving it how it is, or maybe doing some DIY touch-up work if possible.

The reason I question it is because the car is a 2008 Audi A4 quattro with 102k miles and is only worth about $6500 trade-in/$7500 private party sale. I definitely wouldn't spend the money for an Audi again, but I have held onto it for a long time since it has always been reliable, low-maintenance, and great in bad weather. If I were to guess, the car will probably get traded in around 2018 for a Toyota or Honda.

The damage looks kind of bad when close up, but from far away it is not that noticeable. It just looks like any other 8 year old less-than-perfect condition car.

Please take a look at my pics and let me know what you think.

« Last Edit: August 16, 2016, 12:04:36 PM by stlbrah »

DoubleNickels

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Re: Doh!!! Backed into a pillar
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2016, 12:03:30 PM »
I've done exactly that.   Auto parts store, touch up paint, forget about it.   While I'm at it, I'd probably drop the extra coverages and pocket even more.  That is if i have 6500 in savings to buy another one should I total this one.....

stlbrah

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Re: Doh!!! Backed into a pillar
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2016, 12:11:31 PM »
I've done exactly that.   Auto parts store, touch up paint, forget about it.   While I'm at it, I'd probably drop the extra coverages and pocket even more.  That is if i have 6500 in savings to buy another one should I total this one.....

Not sure what you mean by pocket the extra coverage? Do you mean switch to a cheaper liability only plan?

SomedayStache

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Re: Doh!!! Backed into a pillar
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2016, 01:04:27 PM »
KBB says that a 2004 Audi A4 with 140k miles (assuming you want to sell a car 4 years from now and adding ~10k miles per year) is valued at:
Excellent $3205
Fair $2387
So today, if you were selling your 12 year old Audi (private party) the valuation difference would be ~$800 between the excellent and the fair condition.

That's assuming you truly have a 12 year old car in 'excellent' condition.  I never have managed that.  THe KBB for a 12 year old Audi in 'very good' condition is $2887.  This is an exactly $500 difference, but you've got to remember that $500 today and $500 in the future aren't equivalent.

You are holding onto the car because "it's reliable, low-maintenance, and great in bad weather".  Based on your description the damage is purely cosmetic and all the reasons you like the car remain unchanged.

If you do go through insurance to get your car fixed there is the possibility that it could cause your rates to rise and you'll lose any accident free discount (this depends on your company and your own past record.  Maybe none of this applies).

You will also have to deal with the hassle of getting it fixed.  This might require time off work or a loaner car?  (You've already gone to more trouble than I would have to get the estimate in the first place).

If it were me, I'd leave the car as is and drop insurance down to liability (if you are in a financially secure enough position to do so).  I'd also see the dent every day and use it to remind myself to be more thoughtful and aware of my surroundings.

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Edited to add that I misread your first post and thought you were planning on driving the car another 4 years.  It looks like you actually only plan to keep it two more years.  (I guess you like to go through cars fast?) Anyways, I don't feel like redoing the KBB numbers.  I still wouldn't bother with the hassle of getting it fixed.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2016, 01:06:10 PM by SomedayStache »

DoubleNickels

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Re: Doh!!! Backed into a pillar
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2016, 01:29:40 PM »
I've done exactly that.   Auto parts store, touch up paint, forget about it.   While I'm at it, I'd probably drop the extra coverages and pocket even more.  That is if i have 6500 in savings to buy another one should I total this one.....

Not sure what you mean by pocket the extra coverage? Do you mean switch to a cheaper liability only plan?

Yes, liability only. A car that old with that many miles (and as others have pointed out, not that valuable), I would have liability only.  You're paying for coverage that is diminishing in value, yet your premiums are not going down, I'm sure. 

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Doh!!! Backed into a pillar
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2016, 01:42:11 PM »
I too had an accident similar to that but worse; my repair quote was $3200 because multiple panels were bent and it very slightly bent the framerails aft of the main part of the frame.  That second part is important because it meant that the core frame was straight (enough) that the car could still get a 4-wheel alignment and be within specs.  One wheel ended up with about a half a degree more negative camber than the other, but still roughly within spec.  It was a rear wheel on a nose-heavy FWD car so the tires wore out close enough to equal to not matter.

Bottom line: it's up to you but for me, my rates were going to go up significantly if I put in a claim, whereas I kept the car until it was 12 years old and ended up giving it away to one of my nephews anyway, so resale didn't matter.  The choice is yours, but when I was faced with a similar situation I just buffed the paint and left it alone.

stlbrah

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Re: Doh!!! Backed into a pillar
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2016, 02:14:16 PM »
Wow, thanks for the info!

I went through the same thought process as SomedayStache earlier with weighing the cost+hassle ratio. I ran the kbb numbers earlier too and I put my car as "good" condition right now. It also has a rear seat cover that is held on by superglue, and a lot of curb rash on the wheels, as well as mismatched tires (one of the 4 got thrashed right after I bought a new set). Other than that, the car has been well maintained. The trade in value was about $300 difference when going from good to fair instead of the $500 mentioned from excellent to fair. It may have been "Very Good" due to being really well maintained besides that, but not sure.

I will look into liability insurance. It has actually been on my list of things to do. I don't drive a whole lot since I work from home most of the time.

I am pretty much decided to not repair the car. I believe I can get to the inside of the quarter panel through the trunk and might be able to try to reverse the dent with a rubber mallet.

icemodeled

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Re: Doh!!! Backed into a pillar
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2016, 02:22:53 PM »
We have always had liability only on our cars because they are all older. Both near 200k miles. If anything like that happened I would definitely DIY what I could and leave it alone. To me, would not be worth the cost. I know it would probably drive my husband crazy though and he would want it fixed.

HotPotato

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Re: Doh!!! Backed into a pillar
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2016, 04:05:33 PM »
So a similar thing happened to me (scraped up the side of the car on a telephone pole) but I decided not to fix the car. When I called my insurance (Progressive) they said anything under 2k payout from them wouldn't cause an increase in premium. So, I had the car inspected at a qualified shop and they said the cost to fix it was ~1500, less my deductible was ~1000 payout from them. I decided to put in a claim, pocketed the 1k, and an still living with a scraped up door. After that I switched to liability insurance.

calimom

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Re: Doh!!! Backed into a pillar
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2016, 05:04:09 PM »
So a similar thing happened to me (scraped up the side of the car on a telephone pole) but I decided not to fix the car. When I called my insurance (Progressive) they said anything under 2k payout from them wouldn't cause an increase in premium. So, I had the car inspected at a qualified shop and they said the cost to fix it was ~1500, less my deductible was ~1000 payout from them. I decided to put in a claim, pocketed the 1k, and an still living with a scraped up door. After that I switched to liability insurance.
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You dropped that coverage like a Hot Potato. (I'm here all week, don't forget to tip the bartender :) )

And for paint scrapes, when I backed my Volvo into a waist high pole - grrr- I learned brake fluid was a good fix.