General Question

jonsblond's avatar

How should we go about fixing the scratch on our car?

Asked by jonsblond (43941points) January 10th, 2019

Follow up to my first question today. Brand new car for us. 2018. We’ve only had it a month. Someone keyed it last night or early this morning. We have full coverage.

Do we let insurance take care of it? Can we fix it ourselves? The scratch is about 12” long. We don’t want our new car to have this eyesore on it.

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16 Answers

janbb's avatar

Insurance will have a deductible that it may be under. I would take it back to the dealer and see what they suggest. They may fix it for not too much or tell you what you can do.

Kardamom's avatar

That sucks! You could call around to a few auto shops/auto painting places and find out how much they would charge, to see if it is less than your insurance deductible.

Did this happen in a public parking lot? Maybe one of the businesses has a video feed of the incident.

jonsblond's avatar

It happened in front of our rental home which is on the same block as a laundromat and bar. They are located in the same building which is 3 doors down from our house. We could check with the owner. He owns both businesses.

Funny thing, we were using my father’s car before we bought the new one and I was sideswiped in front of my son’s school. This was 2 months ago. We already have a relationship with an auto body shop. I thanked the very sweet manager and mentioned that I hope I never need to see him again. I can pay him a visit for a quote or suggestions.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It REALLY sucks because it’s so easy for the culprit to repeat the mischief. Were I in your shoes I would feign indifference while trying to rig some form of clandestine though reliable recording surveillance. Don’t fix the scratch. Let the mud splatters and bird poop pile up while you await the evidence. Meantime ponder the most effective course of utilizing the proof upon its arrival. Know your enemy. Pay attention.

jonsblond's avatar

@stanleybmanly Tonight my husband found out that this group of homeless people targeted a friend of his that he met at the neighboring bar. They kicked in his bumper because he wasn’t a local of the neighborhood at the time. Old homes are being demolished for luxury apartments. I can empathize with their frustration but I don’t agree with their actions. Our rental is set to be demolished in July for underground parking for luxury apartments currently being built on the block adjacent to the laundromat and bar. Studios are going for over $1000. Two bedrooms are running $2000 per month. These homeless aren’t ready to give up the fight.

JLeslie's avatar

My recent experience with this sort of thing is the estimate will come in right around $500—$600, which is usually right about what the insurance deductible is, but not always. If you have a zero deductible then it might be worth it to go through insurance. Also, I was shocked to see how much it cost me to fix a scratch, maybe your cost will be much lower. I hope so. Take it to get an estimate, it might help you decide.

Mine wasn’t vandals, mine was a neighbor who hit my car. Vandalism I have no stomach for, they don’t even gain anything material, just destructive. I don’t understand it. Especially, when you have done nothing to them. It’s nit even revenge driven, it’s beating me how people can do such a thing.

kritiper's avatar

If it’s a light surface scratch it might be buffed out. If it’s deep and through the paint it (that area) will have to be repainted. Repainting a single spot doesn’t work out very well and it would be better, and more expensive, to have the entire car repainted. If the car is repainted, insist on polyurethane paint.
Contact your insurance company and a reputable auto body paint specialist.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Check around for maybe an auto detailer they have ways of working out scratches,and might be a little cheaper than a body shop.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I’d start with your auto insurance company. Vandalism is covered under your comprehensive portion much like a broken windshield or other broken glass The deductible is usually very low or zero. I used to work in the claims department for GEICO & we had a lady whose car was vandalized for over 3 months. She’d bring it in, we’d authorize the fix, she’d get it fixed & 2 days later it was vandalized again & the process started over. It happened with such regularity that it began to form a pattern. When all was said & done, they caught the guy doing it. It was the husband’s best friend who was PO’d because the husband got a pomotion he really, really wanted. Once convicted, GEICO sued the vandal & got their money back for ALLthe damage done!!!

Now, IF your insurance company doesn’t cooperate, you can go to your dealer & buy a tiny jar of touch-up paint in the exact color of your new car & you can touch it up yourself. I’ll warn you that the tiny jar of paint is very, very expensive!!! You’ll have to be really careful or the touch-up will stand out like a sore thumb. The dealer can have one of their professionals do it for you & it will look better, but they’ll charge you a small fortune to do it. IF you want the dealership to do it, you might want to call the salesperson you bought the car from first & explain what has happened. He/she might be able to work out a one-time freebee fix in hopes that you’ll remember the service & buy your next car from him/her, Dealerships are usually a LOT more expensive than a body shop because their labor per hour is higher. A local body shop might do it cheaper in hopes of getting you as a new customer but I doubt it…unless you’re really lucky!!!

I think I covered all your options; so, get busy making calls!!!

jonsblond's avatar

I’m sitting in a doctor’s office right now so I can’t respond other than to say thank you all very much!

janbb's avatar

Just checked my auto policy and the deductible for “damage other than collision” is $500. Yours may be different but it seems unlikely that insurance will cover it.

I do like Lady M’s idea of talking to the salesperson and seeing if you can get a freebie!!!

LadyMarissa's avatar

@janbb Since other than collision usually means it’s NOT my fault, I keep mine set at $0.00. You’re being ripped off at $500!!! Why pay a deductible when somebody else vandalizes your car or your windshield breaks???

tedibear's avatar

@LadyMarissa, it probably keeps her rates down.

janbb's avatar

Yes, coming from a family that owned a large insurance agency, I’m pretty well aware of what makes sense for me insurance-wise. Rates in different parts of the country may vary considerably.

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