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May 20, 2024

How to Get an Estimate on My Car Damage After an Accident


Car damage can be frustrating. A car is an essential part of everyday life, so when it’s damaged, you must fix it ASAP. But where do you start? 

You’ll need a car repair estimate.

Learn how to get a repair estimate on your car’s damage and how to ensure you get your money’s worth in repairs. 


Where to Get an Estimate on Your Car’s Damage

You’ll need to go to an auto body shop for an estimate. An automotive technician will inspect the car and evaluate the cost to fix the damage. 

Where you go for a car’s damage estimate may depend on how the vehicle was damaged. If you were in an accident, you’d want to talk with your insurance carrier. If the car is covered, the insurer may require you to go to an approved auto repair shop if the car is covered. 

But that’s not always the case. 

The auto shop choice is yours if the car’s damage is due to weather or another non-accident reason. When you have the option, you should go to a trusted auto shop like CARSTAR


The Estimate Process

You’ll make an appointment at an auto repair shop, where they’ll inspect the car thoroughly. Depending on the extent of the car’s damage, the estimated process can take 15 to 30 minutes.

A technician will inspect your car and note obvious damage, such as dents and broken windows. They’ll also look for hidden damage within the frame, suspension, and other areas. The technician will then estimate the required parts and labor to fix your car.


What Should a Car Estimate Include?

Once the auto technician evaluates your car, they’ll create a written estimate. The estimate should include the following:

  • A list of the required work 
  • An explanation of costs, which can include 
    • Parts
    • Labor
    • Additional charges or fees
  • A statement saying the shop won’t exceed the price by a certain amount without your permission


Top Things to Look for in Car Damage

We can categorize car damage into two categories: Minor and major damages. 

Minor damage is that which doesn’t technically have to be repaired or is easy to repair. Minor damage includes things like:

  • Scratches
  • Scrapes
  • Small dents
  • Broken headlights

Major damage is anything that causes structural damage to the car, like: 

  • Large dents
  • Car frame damage
  • Gouges
  • Axle damage
  • Suspension damage
  • Engine damage
  • Missing car parts
  • Transmission damage
  • Windshield damage
  • Trunk damage
  • Electrical system damage 


3 Tips to Make the Estimate Process Go Smoothly

There are three ways you can make the car repair estimate process easy.


1. Focus on Quality, Not Cost

Looking for an auto shop with the cheapest car repair estimate is tempting, but it could cost more in the long run. If you focus on cost instead of quality, a shop may not repair the car properly, leading to more repairs in the future. 

It’s best to research different auto shops. You should look at reviews and experience with car repairs and then see if they’re licensed and registered in your state. 


2. Have a Basic Understanding of Potential Car Damages

You don’t have to be an expert, but a basic understanding of damages will help you understand what’s wrong with the car. This knowledge can also prevent unnecessary repairs or add-ons, saving you money. 

You can contact auto shops like CARSTAR to ask questions before setting up an appointment.


3. Know Your Budget

You should set a car repair budget. Having a general amount in mind helps narrow the options for auto shops. A budget will also enable you to negotiate with the auto shop. 

You should get multiple estimates if you can’t find a shop that works within your budget. Several estimates will provide more information and can be used as a negotiation tool when paying for car repairs. 


Visit CARSTAR for Your Car Repairs

Determining where and how to get an estimate on car damage is as easy as visiting your local CARSTAR. We can handle minor and major damage car repairs. Our technicians will thoroughly inspect your vehicle and provide an accurate estimate without unnecessary fixes or fees. 

Schedule an appointment with your local CARSTAR today!

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