Quick question, My son's 87'GT got side swiped in the school parking lot by another classmate and obviously the kid is taking full responsibility since my son was walking into school when it happened. Now being sympathetic to teenage kids and not wanting either of the insurances to sky rocket the other kids family is hoping to do the repairs out of pocket as opposed to a claim. I've gotten 2 estimates, one from a highly recommended body shop ($530) and one from a shop known to blow estimates out of proportion ($1200). The kids parents want me to take it to a "friend of theirs" for an estimate which i wasn't totally against.
Now the question, the more I think about it the more I would rather get a 3rd quote from an independent party as opposed to "friends". What would you guys do?
as rbell pointed out, these are not [i]your[i] friends. If the friends in question are a reputable bodyshop that might be willing to give you a deal to help out the family of the kid that hit your son's car, that's one thing. But, if its just a family friend that does body work in their spare time, don't even give it a consideration.
Just remember that the other party is a fault here. YOU get to choose where you get your son's car repaired, not them. Keeping the cost down for them is courteous, but at the end of the day you want to make sure the work is done correctly. Even if the shop you decide on is a little higher than some of the other options, it'll still be cheaper for them than having their insurance rates go up.
------------------ "The Twins" '87 GT 3.4 pushrod daily driver '88 GT 3.4 DOHC swap in progress
Was there a police report? What happens if they decide they don't want to pay? I can appreciate being sympathetic to teenage kids. How much money are you willing to lose for that sympathy? Either you want the car fixed right or you don't.
If they want you to get an estimate from a "friend of theirs" ask them where his body shop is and get references. If he doesn't have a body shop, he's got no business making an estimate.
How bad is the damage and what does each quote cover? How they pay to fix your car is their problem, not yours. Find out what it will take to fix it right. They can go through their insurance or not.
W/o pictures of damage... impossible to tell you anything. Just paint job can cost depending on many things. Many public compare to Maaco and think is best and cheap but many Maaco jobs are crap and look bad after just 1-2 years.
Does the school know? Many fights etc have started by the "crash" or day after.
------------------ Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should. (Jurassic Park)
The school has a cop on staff, a report was filed but since it was on "Private property" no charges are filed. The kid is sort of a friend of my son's (they are suppose to room together on the Hawaii band trip in March). They have said they will take care of it even if they have to file a claim, but if possible they would prefer to not if it's more affordable. I do have all their information and insurance number if needed and I believe the cop said they will step in if it's not taken care of by them. So right now I'm more inclined to get one to 2 more estimates from reputable body shops. I looked up their friends shop and it looks like he works out of a building on his private property and I couldn't find any real info on his shop online (no website or google reviews) although I have heard of him.
I'll post more info after this is cleared up as to what I may need if it's available.
Run it through your insurance company and take it to the shop of your choice. This way you have fallback and recourse should something go wrong. $530 sounds uber reasonable. They are asking for favors to keep their insurance low. They should be more than willing to allow you to take it to the shop of your choice to keep their long term costs down.
I got 3 more independent estimates today, all $1000 up to $1400. I'll send them over and let them decide from here on, although it makes me think the $500 estimate missed the fact that the door panel is cracked in one area as the others say it would be an easy repair if it wasn't for that.