Advice Needed – Car Damage
My 10 year old son accidentally damaged a car over the weekend by riding into it on his scooter, which he came and told me about immediately. The car was parked half on the road and half on the pavement in a residential street. It was damaged on the side facing the road. The car is an L reg 3 series BMW. The damage was a dent the size of a 10p piece on the door and a scratch approximately 3 inches long on the sill below the door. The owner, who works in the car repair trade, has just told me over the phone that it’s going to cost £197.00 to repair. I’ve asked him to send me the paperwork with the cost on it. Everything has been done amicably to this point. I’m not trying to shirk my responsibilities but I’m of the opinion that this is excessive. Does anyone know where I stand legally or has anyone been involved in a similar situation. If I seek legal advice it’ll probably cost me more in the long run. Should I just pay up and chalk it up to experience? Any help or advice greatly appreciated. Sorry for the long post.uplinkFree Member
Is it worth getting one of those mobile dent removal guys to look at it?theflatboyFree Member
i don’t know anything really about the position or whether or not you should get legal advice, but that price doesn’t sound unrealistic to me, sadly…DelFull Member
l-reg? my first reaction would be to tell him to get stuffed, but i guess sensibly you can get another quote ( you don’t have to accept a quote for repair even in a regular car-on-car claim ). get chipsaway round. ( chipsaway.co.uk IIRC ). they’ll quote on the spot, likely do it for 60 quidish, do it there and then, and they guarantee satisfaction. they do a lot of minor cosmetic stuff for the trade ( including a lot of flash motors ), i’m sure he’s aware of them if he’s ‘in the trade’, but he’s probably ‘working a couple of other bits in’, not least the rusty bits you haven’t seen….
i’ve had these guys do work for me in the past, and for the money, very happy indeed. hope you can sort it out amicably. otherwise house insurancematt_outandaboutFull Member
Does your home insurance have legal cover – use of this usually wont affect a premium.
Its not just the 3″ scratch though. Its usually upto whatever swathe line they need to paint to (He will be painting it rather than touching it up).
It seems excessive on a L Reg car but it would cost the same on a 09 reg car to do the same repair. Its not his problem really.
Maybe ask him if he will accept £150
an L reg 3 series? I think he means the entire car is worth £197.
He’s having a laugh unless the car is in pristine condition. Offer him 50 quid or whatever you’re prepared to pay. Personally I don’t think you’re actually financially responsible for the accidental damage caused by your children but have no real life experience to back this up.
oh, and any car parked on the pavement is illegally parked IIRC.thomthumbFree Member
age bears no relevance to the cost of the job.
get another quote. but at the end of the day he has to be happy, it’s your damage and his car.
£200 doesn’t sound excessive to me. sorry!
He’s told me it’s £60 for the dent. The rest is removing the sill (not sure why it has to be removed) , respraying and labour. He told me the paint finish was flawless prior to the incident and he’d just paid £2k to have it done but I found an unrelated blemish within seconds.nukeproofFree Member
Quote seems about right to me. My brother’s car, a Golf, was damaged by a neighbours kid and he got a mobile repair service out and I’m sure it cost more than the quote you’ve been told. He never did get the full amount out of the parents. As previously said, just because it an L reg doesn’t mean its going to be cheaper than a 09 plate.mattsccmFree Member
From experience what you described could well cost that. Is it worth a big row to save a few quid? Even if he is in the trade their is no reason for him to do you a deal although we like to think that people share windfalls. We had a stack of small stone chips done at a utilities expense and the cheapest deal was over a grand. No reason why the age of the car should be an issue. He should have that bit of car repaired to the original standard. I’d just bite the bullet. sorry
Personally I don’t think you’re actually financially responsible for the accidental damage caused by your children
And so begins the spiral towards full membership of chavworld. Hang up all your responsibilities at the door please.
What has the age of the vehicle got to do with things. If it was 09reg and he was presented with £197 bill for exactly the same repair, would this in some way be more justifiable?TandemJeremyFree Member
I would ask him if you can get a second quote – use chipsaway and see what they say. see if you can come to some sort of amicable agreement.sobrietyFree Member
Removing the sill for respraying a scratch? That sounds like he’s using you to cheekily replace a rusty sill for free…
The sill looks like it’s plastic. Plus I don’t see why it has to be removed. It’s already ‘separate’ from the rest of the bodywork.
No reason to remove a sill to sort a scratch out at all. Are you sure it was cuased by your kid? I though it strange to dent the door & the sill from the 1st post. Ask you kid
Prob a sill protector of some sort then. I bet the price is for a NEW sill protector which is then colour coded and refitted.gruntyFree Member
Pavements are for people, not for cars.
If he hadn’t have parked there then most likely the car would never have been scratched!
Sounds like a motorist shirking all THEIR responsibilities not the parent IMO
He was on a scooter so the marks correspond. Handlebar caused the dent and deck caused the scratch on the sill. Difficult to prove either way and, as I said, my son came and told me straight away.deadlydarcyFree Member
You should be pleased your son was man enough to own up about it straight off. You’re obviously doing something right with him. I’m not sure I would have when I was a kid…I’d probably have checked if you’ve got some hammerite in the shed and tried a botch job with a brush.
Otherwise…what TJ says…get your own quote if you’re not happy about it but £197 isn’t a bad price for any kind of bodywork.
And so begins the spiral towards full membership of chavworld. Hang up all your responsibilities at the door please.
Where did I say he should completely avoid any responsibility? The OP asked where he stood legally, that’s my opinion on that matter.
What has the age of the vehicle got to do with things. If it was 09reg and he was presented with £197 bill for exactly the same repair, would this in some way be more justifiable?
Try reading what I wrote. If the guy is suggesting the car is in absolute pristine condition then the quote may be acceptable. But it clearly isn’t so expecting the OP to pay to make the door pristine hardly seems fair.
samuri, is it possible to get a cheaper repair done to a lesser standard?
I recently had a door kicked in on a 20 year old car. Could I have asked for the repair to be a bit cheaper given it’s age?
Yep, it is possible. If you’re expecting the door to be repaired to the standard it was when the car was brand new then no it’s not.
how do you go about this then? I am genuinely interested. It was gut wrenching to pay £400 on a £2000 car
Halfords do a fine range of spray paints and DIY repair kits.
Edit: Obviously if the skin was so badly damaged it needed replacing that’s a different matter but skins and new doors can be purchased cheaply from scrap yards. I’ve done it a couple of times.thisisnotaspoonFree Member
Doesn’t sound extortionate.
but equaly if he claimed off his insurance thye probably wouldnt pay it, he’d probably get compensation for any depreciation as a result of the marks.geetee1972Free Member
My two penneth – if you do decide to pay for the repair work, you should under no circumstances give him the money directly. Ask for the invoice to be sent to you and should also get three quotes. You might also want to be the person who arranges the quotes/repair work rather than letting him do it; the cynic in me would wonder whether he was conspiring with the body shop to artificially inflate the price.
Can’t you claim it on your own insurance?jonbFree Member
Go through your house insurance, you should have third party cover.
ah, ok, so not really, unless you diy.
There’s no way I’d bother paying someone else to repair a car that wasn’t worth much unless the insurance was paying for it, it doesn’t make any sense. You clearly felt it did. I’m interested now, what 20 year old car is worth 2 grand? Classic I presume.
culprit is paying, though I’ve had to sue him. £2K is perhaps optimistic. MX5
Not read the whole thread, just disgusted by some of the replies about tellign people to get stuffed. It doesnt matter what the car is worth, if you cause damage to that car then you should pay to repair it. Good on the kid for owning up, not many would. Good on the OP for offering to pay, not many would – you sound like a very nice family, do shop around for a few quotes for your own sake.
That car was perfectly functional and had no cosmetic damage until your (childs) mistake, therefore you should pay to return it to the same condition regardless of the age or value of the car, unless the owner agrees otherwise. £200 is not an unlikely price for such a repair if done properly.
The owner can rightly expect the door to be repaired to the state it was in pre-dent, since paint and doors rarely “age” and can look pretty much as good after 15 years as when they leave the factory, it is not unreasonable to expect it to be repaired as new. Just as if someone hit you with their car you’d expect your car to be repaired new for old, you wouldnt expect your insurance company to go and fetch second hand wings for a bit of cost saving!!
To the OP – unfortunate for you, but not unreasonable – cough up.
To those who replied clearly not valuing someone elses property – not entirely sure where your head is. If someone smashed off your bumper would you accept them saying “well yours is a few years old, you can expect the bumper to be a bit damaged, I’ll just tape it up – no need for insurance”? No, of course not. And if he claims off his insurance he’ll lose out on premiums later for smoething that isnt his fault in any way. Just because the car is older and parked in a public place doesnt mean its right to assume the owner doesnt care about it or shouldnt get a fully repaired car.
For comparison, I got a “mates rate” quote from a friend whos a body repair chap for fixing a graze in my back arch, similar to what you describe but a bit longer – £350. Mates rates. Other shops quoted 2-300 more. Would seem odd to have to remove the sill though, unless its into the sill of course.
It quite frankly disgusts me the number of people who’ll assume a cars just a car and a few scratches dont matter.
<walks off shaking head>HungryHungryHippoFull Member
What coffeeking said.
OP – your son was man enough to admit to the damage, good on him. Your perfectly within your rights to get a few quotes to see if he’s diddling you on the £197, but parked illegally or not you’ve got to be a man and put it right.lammyFree Member
Hi, I’ve worked in the crash repair trade for over 10 years, and I can tell you that that price is pretty cheap if anything.
It is probably more cost effective to remove the sill cover than it would be to repair/mask/paint in situ.
Bodyshops generally charge £20-£30 per hour labour, whereas main dealers ie. BMW, VW, Ford etc. charge between £60-£200 per hour. I would say the reapir on his car would be all of four hours labour if not more, plus paint and materials. Paint can be £25-£120 per litre, masking tape £3 per roll, sanding discs 35p a go…..the list goes on and on. You do the maths!!
BTW, good on your child for owning up.Jujuuk68Free Member
Accidents happen. Your child didn’t mean to damamge the vehicle and owning up impresses me with his maturity. Not saying you “reward” but as long as its clear that he knows it was entirely the right thing to do then well done.
And I woek in a claims dept for a big insurer. I never see repair invoices as little as £200 these days. The paint, spraying and drying times + materials are going to be almost that much. I know it sounds a lot, bur really it isn’t.
However, i’d offer him a cash in lieu – say £197 less 15% vat (dont pay vat unless he presents you with an invoice, its illegal to pay it until its incurred)and less say 10% for profit on the job. Say £150, get a recepit, and if its repaired, a copy satisfaction note, so he can’t come after you for a new mystery stratch in a few weeks. The recepits so he can’t claim against your household/pbublic liability policy if you have one, in the future.
To those who replied clearly not valuing someone elses property – not entirely sure where your head is. If someone smashed off your bumper would you accept them saying “well yours is a few years old, you can expect the bumper to be a bit damaged, I’ll just tape it up – no need for insurance”?
Absolutely not. Cars are insured. What a silly comparison. They’re driven by adults. But kids have accidents, it’s just one of those things, they can’t be held responsible. Any effort after that is within the bounds of reasonable responsibility.
“Yes my kid banged into your car but you were parked on the pavement, what do you expect? I’ll pay half.”
If the chap in question is expecting the OP to pay all that money for the repair if he does not think it is a resonable request then I certainly wouldn’t force him to if it were my car. I say that in all honesty because it’s happened to me more than once.
I totally agree that is great that the kid and his dad wish to take responsibility and I’d do exactly the same but the whole point is that if someone is getting precious about a car that is worth not much more than the repair then they need a wake up call.trademarkFree Member
Diawl, could it be the case that your son had to scoot close to the car because he was forced onto the road because of an illegaly parked car?
Out of curiosity for his reaction, I might mention to the car owner that my son would rather have scooted along the pavement but was obstructed by said car.
Good onya son, btw.
“the whole point is that if someone is getting precious about a car that is worth not much more than the repair then they need a wake up call. “
Not really, the car may have sentimental value, or it may have had a LOT of expense on mechanical parts and be a lot better than the average car of its age/model. Just because you dont value it doesnt make it acceptable to damage things and offer less than the repair value. At what point does the value ofthe car have anything to do with it? The point is to return it to how it was before costs X amount, it was caused by you (indirectly, through a child) so you pay X to put it right, not X/2 because someone chose to drive a non-new car. What a farcical point of view you seem to have, IMO of course. While the person may not like parking it on the road while it has such personal value they may have no choice.
I have a car that is currently worth around £1500 (market value for a standard, unrestored one), its a rare-ish car whos panels are not made anymore and copies cant be bought from motor factors- light damage to a rear quarter panel would write it off insurance-wise, despite the 4-5K I’ve spent restoring it. Just because its a cheap car on the market doesnt mean I’d accept £100 from someone if they caused £200s worth of damage to it, maliciously or otherwise. Just because its an accident doesnt mean you lose some responsibility for it.
If it were my kid it would be told not to scoot too close to parked cars in case of accident, regardless of whether it should be parked there? Thats what I was told as a kid by my father too, I biked elsewhere and didnt ride into cars as I made sure I was never near them.djc1245Free Member
I’m with Trademark on this. Car was illegally parked, would his insurance be invalid?
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