Getting the right car repairs involves waiting a certain period of time for them to finish. This guide will explain how long an auto body repair normally takes.
Are you in need of auto body repair? Do you need to know how long the process takes?
In normal cases, standard car repairs can take one or two days. With severe damage, you may wait for months. However, other factors could prolong the process, such as insurance bureaucracy, high costs, and hidden damage.
Moreover, the type of vehicle you have will play a key role in the repair time. Overall, insurance can be your biggest hindrance when it comes to speedy repairs.
This article will show you how long car repairs can take in greater detail. Let’s explore.
The insurance approval process usually takes up the most time because insurance reps may scrutinize each repair item. Before repairs begin, insurance adjusters will assess the damage.
Adjusters will usually contact you within three days. Surveying the damage can sometimes take an additional three days.
At this point, the claims adjuster will issue a recommendation of repairs. In some cases, your insurance company may not agree to the full repair recommendations.
After the appraisal, a mechanic or repair technician may find additional, unseen damages. From there, your carrier must assess the costs associated with additional repairs and may accept or reject the request.
A professional mechanic should maintain consistent communication with insurance companies to expedite the process. There are also cases where severed communication lies squarely with insurance companies. It may be weeks before an insurance rep responds to the mechanic.
You may also encounter a situation where the insurance company failed to pay the mechanic. The mechanic could retain your car as collateral until the insurance company sends a check.
If you’re dealing with insurance wrangling, you can speed along the process by doing the following:
- Staying in touch with your mechanic and carrier regularly
- Having the car towed to another shop if the repairs are taking too long
If all goes smoothly, insurance cases will resolve within one to two weeks. In more complicated situations, the process could take longer.
Involve an attorney if insurance companies reject reasonable repairs. Your carrier may also recommend another mechanic if costs at a particular shop are excessive.
Insurance companies may choose a mechanic that will conduct cheaper repairs. You have a right to use your mechanic, even if insurance is paying for it.
An attorney is also helpful if insurance reps demand to use another mechanic. In other cases, insurance reps could recommend alternative repairs to save money. Make sure you understand your rights as the insured.
Never agree to anything you don’t feel comfortable with. Doing so could result in sub-standard repairs that may cause long-term damage. Legal counsel can help you smooth out insurance disputes.
On the other hand, using a repairman approved by the insurance company can speed up the repair process. Regardless, use a mechanic you trust most. Above all, the mechanic should have positive reviews and applicable certifications.
The Cost of Repairs
The cost could be the biggest barrier if you don’t have sufficient car insurance. Understanding what your coverage will and will not pay for is critical in avoiding unexpected costs.
A mechanic could find additional damage, increasing your repair bill. In some cases, insurance may not cover the gap. If this occurs, the mechanic may hold your car until you settle the full cost of repair.
The Nature of the Damage
The types of damage will determine the repair time. Overall, the average repair for minor damage usually takes one or two weeks. Even cosmetic damage can take time because technicians must blend the new paint with the old paint.
Conversely, a head-on collision case can take anywhere from two days to several months. However, the most severe forms of damage may not take as long as you’d think.
- Example: For engine or transmission damage, the repair process can take between three days to two weeks. However, transmission/engine damage rarely occurs during head-on collisions.
A head-on collision may also involve the following:
- Damage to the front bumper
- Damage to the backend
- Damage to the taillights or headlights
These are minor repairs that may only take a few days to address. In more dire cases, perhaps a component in your engine came loose during the collision. Your car could take months to fix if the mechanic must deal with a laundry list of engine repairs.
Some repair shops use only original equipment manufacturer replacement parts (OEM), while others use after-market or third-party parts. OEM parts are generally considered the better option, as they come from the stock of parts used to make the exact vehicle. Third-party replacement parts are not necessarily bad or poor quality, but certain parts may not fit quite right or have the exact cosmetic detail as an OEM part. Some third-party replacements may also be cheaper.
The good news is that mechanics can receive the parts in as little as a few hours. In many cases, mechanics will get the parts in less than a day. However, a shop may also have to wait several days. Parts delivery may take longer than a day, especially if you have a rare or older car.
If multiple parts undergo damage, you could wait at least a month for all the parts to arrive. In severe cases, you could wait several months.
The Repair Schedule
Some repair shops are busier than others. A busy shop could mean they’re high in demand. However, backed-up shops may indicate they’re short-staffed or operating less efficiently.
Regardless, a shop fraught with many repair requests can delay the process. A simple repair that normally takes a day could turn into a week or longer if the shop is behind schedule.
Before choosing a repair shop, inquire about their workload. Also, ask for a time frame in which they can repair your vehicle.
How Can I Hasten an Auto Body Repair?
To streamline the auto body repair process, use a reputable business. A good repair shop should have a standard formula when it comes to fixing minor and major car damage.
However, there are external factors beyond your control, such as insurance involvement, parts damage, and repair schedules.
More importantly, maintain steady communication with insurance carriers and your shop to ensure the repairs proceed on time.