When your vehicle suffers external damage from a collision, you should have it fixed of as soon as possible, protecting the value of the car. In some cases it may be necessary to seek auto body repair on your vehicle if the damage can potentially interfere with normal operation.
Before visiting an auto body shop though, it may be helpful to assess the damage to see what may be necessary in regards to repair by thinking about some of the following:
- How severe is the damage? Are you dealing with a minor ding that could be taken care of with a simple paintless dent repair, or is this something that looks like it could take quite a bit of time and money in order to get fixed? Thinking about this can help you plan ahead in terms of budgeting as well as securing a rental car, if yours is going to need to be in the shop for more than a day or so.
- How urgent are the repairs? If you're dealing with a purely cosmetic issue that can wait to be repaired, this might be your best option if you need a little time to work out a budget and set some money aside. However, if there are any important auto body parts that look to be damaged and can potentially inhibit the safe and normal operation of your vehicle, you should go ahead and get things taken care of as quickly as possible.
- What exactly does your budget look like? Take an honest look at how much you can afford to pay up front as well as monthly payments that you might be able to make. Get quotes from local repair shops and try to work out payment options that will work for both parties.
Thinking through these three questions can go a long way towards helping you develop a plan of action and get those repairs done as quickly as possible without breaking the bank. Remember, if the damage is not very extensive and repairs may be able to wait, you might be better off doing this in order to prepare yourself for the financial requirements that come along with having repairs of this nature performed.