Dobbs Autobody vs. Union Collision

shoshannah

Someone crashed into my car in a parking lot.  Thankfully, they left a note and said they'd write me a check for the repair.  The damage involves four sections/panels of the car. I got two estimates:  

Union Collision $2500.  Said they can repair all four panels and that it will be good as new. I asked him if it would be better to replace some of the panels, and he said it's not necessary.  

Dobbs Autobody $5800. Said they recommend replacing two of the panels and repairing the other two.  Says it's not going to look the same if he doesn't replace.  He also said something about having certain certifications that require them to live up to a certain standard, and thus have to replace (not repair) the sections. I showed him Union's estimate.  He was very complimentary of Union, said they are very reputable and that he's sure Union would honor that price, but that he (Dobbs) has a different recommendation. Besides, he thinks Union is losing money on the repair price they gave me.  

The car comes off lease in three months.  Both of these shops are well-regarded.  What would you do?


dickf3

shoshannah:

Are you confident these quoted prices approximate what auto insurers would pay the aforementioned  auto body shops for the identical work?

I don’t know what ‘car comes off lease’ means. It suggests you are currently leasing it. Does it carry insurance for this damage? What responsibilities do you have ( leaving aside the offer from the other driver)?


Formerlyjerseyjack

The other driver's responsibility is to fix the car to the point it was, before the accident. That is the responsibility, regardless of what it costs. So choose the repair that you think will be the best job. 


shoshannah

dickf3 said:

shoshannah:

Are you confident these quoted prices approximate what auto insurers would pay the aforementioned  auto body shops for the identical work?

I don’t know what ‘car comes off lease’ means. It suggests you are currently leasing it. Does it carry insurance for this damage? What responsibilities do you have ( leaving aside the offer from the other driver)?

 I have no idea what an insurer would pay.  Should I care? The owner of the car that did the damage said she'd pay out of pocket.  She does not want to use her insurance. I don't have any responsibility since I know who did it. The car coming off lease means that the lease ends.  In three months I will be returning this car to the dealer.


shoshannah

Formerlyjerseyjack said:

The other driver's responsibility is to fix the car to the point it was, before the accident. That is the responsibility, regardless of what it costs. So choose the repair that you think will be the best job. 

On its face, it seems like Dobbs would do a more thorough job, as they want to replace two panels.  However, even though I personally am not the one paying, I don't want to enter into an agreement for a repair that is excessive and unnecessary.  If Union Collision says it can make it look like new without replacing panels, then that's the place we should use.  I just don't know.


BG9

Considering its on lease you'd best make sure that, as fjj said, the car is fixed to the point of before the accident. Which is the other persons responsibility or legally not that at point if no report was filed.

I have yet to see a lessor forgive damage.


cramer

shoshanna - Have you personally been in touch with the person who left the note?  Assuming you go with the $5800, that's a pretty big chunk of change for someone to pay out of pocket. I'm assuming you haven't been in touch with your insurance co. 



dickf3

shoshannah said:

 I have no idea what an insurer would pay.  Should I care? 

 

shoshannah said:

 However, even though I personally am not the one paying, I don't want to enter into an agreement for a repair that is excessive and unnecessary.  

 


yahooyahoo

GO THROUGH INSURANCE!

This is my advice based on experience with the same scenario.  Screw the other driver.  If they have insurance, file a claim with their insurer asap.

It's not your job to figure this out.


proeasdf

Go with the cheaper quote and get a release from the driver causing the damage.


The insurance company is not your friend and will cause this accident to be branded onto the history of this vehicle.  Thereby, depressing the value of the leased vehicle.  Typically, the less car-being-turned-in is worth at end of lease is to your detriment.

PS Not accepting cash (settling damages outside of insurance) after representing that you would, appears to be legally permissible but morally suspect.


yahooyahoo

proeasdf said:

Go with the cheaper quote and get a release from the driver causing the damage.

The insurance company is not your friend and will cause this accident to be branded onto the history of this vehicle.  Thereby, depressing the value of the leased vehicle.  Typically, the less car-being-turned-in is worth at end of lease is to your detriment.

PS Not accepting cash (settling damages outside of insurance) after representing that you would, appears to be legally permissible but morally suspect.

The other driver is the one that is morally suspect.  They are trying to work outside the system and drag shoshannah into this mess.  The car company will certainly be able to tell if the car has had body work when it is inspected upon return.  I'm also positive that shoshannah and the other driver are required by their insurers to report an accident as soon as it happens.  Finally, I'm sure the leasing agreement requires shoshannah to report any accidents as well.

Don't go down this road.  Report the accident to the other driver's insurance company to get it repaired and documented.


BG9

I don't know if insurers require it but I read NJ law mandates accidents be reported if damage is greater than $500.

If it were my car I would entertain fixing it privately. 

I would not do it with a leased car. The leased car belongs to the lessor and I'm sure as yahooyahoo pointed out they will likely find body work was done. Repercussions can be unpleasant.


shoshannah

cramer said:

shoshanna - Have you personally been in touch with the person who left the note?  Assuming you go with the $5800, that's a pretty big chunk of change for someone to pay out of pocket. I'm assuming you haven't been in touch with your insurance co. 


Yes, I have been in touch.  They do not want to go through insurance.  Is there any reason I should be in touch with MY insurance company?  I don't want my rate to go up, which it does even if the damage is not my fault.


shoshannah

Okay auto mavens, here's a question.  Would it be best to bring it directly to the dealer? Do dealers even do auto body work?  If so, it seems that would be my best best because the dealer would fix it to their own satisfaction. Although they probably would report it to the insurance companies.


Formerlyjerseyjack

That might be the best idea. They will farm it out and then they are responsible for determining if the repair was to their standards.


galileo

I have never leased a car but there must be certain agreements that must be signed. Accidents must be mentioned.Check it out.


dianaid

First, I have used Union Collusion three times, twice through insurance and once on my own for a deep scratch I caused,  and have found their repairs to be absolutely first rate.  And they are on many insurance lists.   I trust them, and if you read Yelp reviews, others do too.

Second, regardless of your decision, go through insurance.  There is no reason for you to have to deal with releases, etc.  





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