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Q

DAMAGE: Who repairs minor damage to my car, its trim and its wheels at less cost than a garage or bodyshop? Also, please list any recommended valeters.

A

DENTS AND SCRATCHES

For economical crash repairs (Using secondhand parts) in the Leominster area: www.prangfix.com

For minor dents of the supermarket carpark variety, call 'Chips Away' on 0800 028 7878, website www.chipsaway.co.uk; or 'Dent Devils' on 0870 241 5679, website www.dentdevils.co.uk) who will put you onto their nearest operator. You might also check out S.M.A.R.T.'s website, www.smartrepair.com (tel 0800 074 1052). Dent-Magician comes highly recommended. For your local guy, check Yellow Pages. www.revive-uk.com/retail national chain of mobile car body repairer franchises. Yet another is Smart Wise, tel 01444 257342 www.smartwise.com.

London and South East 

www.smartpaintsurrey.co.uk: Mobile paint and bumper repairs service for Surrey and Middlesex. Repairs car scratches, bumper scuffs and undertakes minor car body repairs, minor cardents and paint touch-ups.

A1 Dents (London), tel 020 8845 0502 or 07989 746895 www.ukdents.com.

Ashford International, tel 01784 666610 www.intelligentrepairs.com.

www.petercook.vpweb.co.uk bumper scuffs, scrapes and scratches, based in Horsham, Sussex

www.dentman.co.uk Covers Surrey and London. Also offers 'flying dentman' motorcycle service in London for faster response.

www.exceldents.co.uk of Aylesbury highly recommended. 9 Weston Way Industrial Estate, Lower Road, Stoke Mandeville HP22 5GT, tel: 01296 614447.

www.dentdirect.co.uk, tel 0800 093 9496 covers Kent.
www.autopaint4u.co.uk covers Sussex.
www.scratch-wizard.co.uk provides a mobile car scratches and a bumper repair service from Bromley, Kent.
www.smartbodyworx.co.uk mobile minor damage repairs based in Rye, East Sussex.
www.smartspraysolutions.co.uk Mobile bumper & car scratches service covering Bucks, Herts, Middlesex and West London.
www.smartagain.co.uk Mobile bumper repairs and car scratches service based in Redhill, Surrey.
www.smartpaintbracknell.co.uk Mobile Car Body Repairs service covering Bracknell & Reading.

www.bumpersbodyshop.co.uk Car Body Shop Repairs Garage based in Burgess Hill, West Sussex.

"For dents/scratches in and around Guildford Surrey I strongly recommend Louis Wan at ChipsAway - fantastic service and results" received from Nicholas Peck by Ask HJ 24-6-2010.

South Coast
DENTCRAFT(PAINTLESS DENT REPAIRS), tel 07901 874725 covers the Portsmouth and Fareham area.
www.smartpaintrepairs.co.uk mobile bumper/car scratches repairer based in West Sussex.
www.smartpainteastbourne.co.uk Mobile Car Scratch and Dent Repair service covering Eastbourne.
www.smartpaintchichester.co.uk Mobile bumper repairs and car scratch repair service based in Chichester, West Sussex.
www.carbodyrepairs-sussex.co.uk Mobile dent, scratch and paint repair service in West and East Sussex.
Dentz (www.dentz.co.uk, Andy Rose, 6 Howton Close, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH10 4LW - 01202 571536 or 07967 142855 - email: sales@dentz.co.uk

Wales and South West
www.smart-wizard.com covers Dorset.
www.dents-2-go.co.uk Mobile dent and light scratch removal service in South Wales and the South West, tel: 07977 069149 or 01495 756985.
www.lvvservices.com SMART repair company covering South Wales.
www.dentdiamond.co.uk Painless Dent Removal covering Bath, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire email: enquiries@dentdiamond.co.uk, tel: 07868 850020
www.damageundone.com of Melksham very sensibly allows customers to e-mail photos of the damage so it can be assessed before they come out.
www.mrdent.co.uk automotive paintless dent removals in all of south wales including Cardiff and Swansea.

South Central
www.smartpaintnewbury.co.uk Mobile bumper repairs and paint repairs service based in Newbury, Berks

Midlands
Derek Jones has the Chips Away franchise for Kenilworth and is highly recommended (Mobile 07908 806936),
www.dent-out.com covers West Midlands. www.autohealer.co.uk covers the Midlands and is "main dealer approved".
www.dentcraft.co.uk Dent Craft based at Sheldon, Birmingham recommended by reader for removing a difficult dent in a swage line BMW quoted £1,200 for for just £90. "Very professional and friendly."
www.uptoscratchrepairs.com Mobile bumper repairs and car scratch repair service based in Tamworth, Staffordshire

North West
www.nomoredents.co.uk covers Greater Manchester and Cheshire.
http://www.mobilesmartrepairsmanchester.co.uk/ repairs and refurbishes alloy wheels and provides smart damage repairs across the North West

Yorkshire
Alan Shutt, tel: 07973 619775 recommended for excellent service in South Yorkshire, but will go to West Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and North Notts. 

James Andrew, tel: 07719816888 ; email:  james@thestationbodyshop.co.uk Smart body repairs in Doncaster area of South Yorkshire.  The Station Bodyshop,  Station Yard,  Station Road, Bawtry, Doncaster DN10 6QD.  

Anglia
www.dentdoctorltd.com Mobile bumper & car scratches service in Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire, established 10 years +.
www.smartpaintnorwich.co.uk Mobile bumper repairs and alloy wheel repair service based in Norwich, Norfolk.

Scotland
www.chips-plus.co.uk mobile minor damage repairs in Aberdeenshire.
www.scuffsmart.co.uk under Mobile bumper & car scratches service covering Glasgow.
www.smartautofife.co.uk Mobile bumper & car scratches service covering Dundee and Fife.


For stone chips and upholstery repairs, try: Chips Away on 0800 028 7878, www.chipsaway.co.uk.

For plastic trim and upholstery repairs, call 'Magic Mend' on 0800 901 902 or Trimline Systems on 01202 480 881 or TrimTech www.trimtech.co.uk, tel 01708 742222.

For chipped or scratched windscreens, Glas Weld Systems www.glaswelduk.com 

Tel: 0800 243 274 or 01372 362362 in Surrey.

www.glassdoctors.co.uk London & Home Counties Tel: 08704 363636.

On modern cars with bonded windscreens this is better than having the entire screen replaced because removing the old one can damage the car body leading to leaks and rust. (Autoglass and Auto Windscreens and many others offer a similar service.)

ALLOY WHEEL REPAIRS:

www.thewheelspecialist.co.uk (Franchises nationally)
www.smartwise.com (Franchises nationally)
www.wickedwheels.co.uk (0870 3003 224) comes to your car to fix the wheels
www.lap-tab.co.uk
www.jagwheeltrims.co.uk Replacement Jaguar chrome wheel trims to fit the S Type, early XKR and the XK/XKR series

London and South East

www.a1alloys.co.uk The Old Forge, Chantry Lane, Bromley BR2 9QL, tel 020 8464 3971. Also a mobile service based in Croydon: www.a1alloys.co.uk/Croydon
Spit & Polish of Tonbridge, Kent (01732 367771)
Wheelbrite of London (0171 431 9015)
Wheels Approved, 87A Woodham Park Road, Woodham, Weybridge, Surrey KT15 3TQ
wheelsapproved@msn.com tel: 07949 202388 or 01932 355356
www.smartalloy.co.uk mobile alloy wheel repairers serving Surrey & East Sussex and parts of West Sussex
www.smartalloysurrey.co.uk Alloy wheeel repair and refurbishment service covering Surrey and surrounding area

www.smartalloykent.co.uk Alloy wheel repair and refurbishment service covering Kent and the surrounding area.

www.smartalloyessex.co.uk  Mobile alloy wheel refurbishment service covering Essex. Repairs kerbed,
corroded, dented, scuffed and scratched alloys.

www.smartalloynorthamptonshire.co.uk Mobile alloy wheel refurbishment service covering Northamptonshire. Repairs to kerbed, corroded, dented, scuffed and scratched alloys.

South Coast
www.smartalloyrepairs.co.uk mobile alloy wheel repairers serving West Sussex
www.smartalloyrefurb.co.uk mobile alloy wheel repairers covering Brighton, Crawley, Horsham & Reigate
www.thewheelspecialist.co.uk The Wheel Specialist, Fareham, Hants, speak to Vernon an on 0845 465 4868

www.smartalloyhampshire.co.uk Mobile alloy wheels refurbishment service for Hampshire including Southampton, Portsmouth and Bournemouth. Repairs to kerbed, scuffed, dented and scratched alloys. 


XX Wales and South West
www.smartalloygloucestershire.co.uk  Mobile alloy wheel refurbishment service covering Gloucestershire. Covers: Worcester, Hereford, Chepstow, Tewkesbury, Evesham, Cirencester, Stroud, Gloucester, Cheltenham (SEEMS TO HAVE PACKED UP) XX

South Central
www.smartalloyberkshire.co.uk Alloy wheeel repair and refurbishment service covering Reading and the surrounding area

Midlands
A1 Wheel renovations of 345 Bilston Road, Wolverhampton (01902 871422)
The Wheel Specialist, Lap-Tab UK Limited, 205 Tyburn Road, Birmingham B24 8NB, telephone 0845 465 4865. First class same day refurbishment

North West

www.thewheelspecialist.co.uk The Wheel Specialist, Units 3-4, Elm Court, Ellesmere Port, CH65 4LY. Tel -0151 355 7982 Mobile - 07584 129 552

www.wheelrepair.co.uk Preston, Lancs 

www.wheelwarriors.co.uk mobile alloy wheel repairers in Chester in Cheshire 

www.alloywheelmasters.co.uk mobile alloy wheel repairers based near Blackpool in Lancs

www.smartalloyliverpool.co.uk Mobile Alloy Wheel Repair service covering Liverpool, Merseyside and Lancashire

www.prestigewheels.co.uk on site and off site services throughout the North West, High Peak, Manchester, Sheffield, Chesterfield and across Cheshire

www.smartalloychester.co.uk Mobile Alloy Wheel Repair service based in Chester covering Cheshire 

www.smartalloylancaster.co.uk Alloy wheeel repair and refurbishment service covering Cumbria, Lake District and Lancashire and surrounding area 


Yorkshire
www.prestigewheels.co.uk on site and off site services throughout the North West, High Peak, Manchester, Sheffield, Chesterfield and across Cheshire

www.smartalloyyorkshire.co.uk : Mobile alloy wheel refurbishment service covering Yorkshire. Repairs to kerbed, corroded, dented, scuffed and scratched alloys.


Anglia
www.smartalloynorwich.co.uk Alloy wheel repair and refurbishment service covering Norwich in Norfolk.

 

Scotland
www.smartalloyrefurbishment.co.uk Mobile Alloy Wheel Repairs service covering Aberdeen
www.smartalloyaberdeen.co.uk Alloy Wheel Repairs operating in and around Aberdeen
www.smartalloyglasgow.co.uk Alloy wheeel repair and refurbishment service covering Glasgow and surrounding area.

www.smartalloyedinburgh.co.uk Alloy wheel repair and refurbishment service covering Edinburgh and the surrounding area.

www.smartalloymidscotland.co.uk Alloy wheel repair and refurbishment service covering Stirling, Dundee, Perth, St Andrews, Kirkcaldy and surrounding area.

www.smartalloayrshire.co.uk Mobile alloy wheel repair service covering Ayrshire. Repairs to kerbed, corroded, dented, scuffed and scratched alloys.

Northern Ireland

www.smartalloybelfast.co.uk Alloy wheel repair and refurbishment service covering Co Down, North Down and Co Antrim, including Belfast, Bamgor, Newtonabbey and surrounding area.

www.alloywheelfix.co.uk Alloy wheel refurbishment throughout Northern Ireland.

BECOME A MOBILE ALLOY WHEEL REPAIRER:

National chain of alloy wheel repairers www.smartalloyfranchise.co.uk

 

NATIONAL ALLOY WHEEL EXCHANGE www.pxwheels.com offers Service Exchange Alloy Wheels. What this means is, they send the customer a refurbished set of wheels identical to the ones fitted to his car. He then has these fitted to his car, then simply packs his old wheels in the shipping boxes and calls the courier to have them collected and delivered back to to pxwheels.

Address is: Unit 14 Piper Court, Amy Johnson Way, Blackpool FY4 2RT Tel: 01253 400230

They also offer tracking at track.dhl.co.uk/tracking

 

Alloy Wheel Insurance

Alloy Wheel Repair Plan offered in the North East of England. The plan covers any kerb damage to new / nearly new cars. The plan covers 4 repairs over a 12 month period for only £89. Website: www.alloywheelrefurbishing.co.uk or you can go direct to the plan at www.wheelplan.co.uk

For an in-house service combining bumper repairs, glass repairs, paintless dent removal, interior and exterior plastic and vinyl repairs, leather upholstery and trim repairs and Connolising, velour upholstery and trim repairs, alloy wheel refurbishment, wheel trim refurbishment, and general valeting, visit the Smart Car Centres at Bircholt Road, Maidstone, Kent ME15 9YP, tel: 01622 609 360 and at 1 Lea Valley Road, Chingford, Essex. Smart Autocentres tel: 0871 733 7337 www.smartautocentres.co.uk

For SMART repairs in Somerset, call 01398 323172, e/mail andy@arcsmartrepairs.co.uk or visit www.arcsmartrepairs.co.uk

For SMART repairs in the Southampton area (New Forest, Poole, Bournemouth, Salisbury, Andover, Basingstoke, Winchester,
Fareham, Portsmouth and Chichester), call 0800 1077833 or 07736 063706, e-mail ruth@re-new.uk.com or visit www.re-new.uk.com (highly recommended for repairs to leather upholstery)

www.smartrepairs.me.uk covers Edinburgh.

Valeters
Gleam Clean ACRS Ltd, Units A-E Orme Road, Worthing, West Sussex
BN11 4ET, tel: 01903 206874, link www.gleamcleanacrs.co.uk For both valeting and minor damage repairs. www.Gleamcleanppy.com

Clean Image www.clean-image.co.uk

www.valetmaster.com offers a professional mobile car valeting service in the Avon, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire area including Bath and Bristol.


BECOME A MOBILE CAR BODY REPAIRER

www.revive-uk.com national chain of mobile car body repairer franchises.

GENERAL MINOR DAMAGE REPAIRS SEARCH SITE

www.look4carcare.co.uk

Assessors: Institute of Auromotive Engineering Assessors: * Vehicle damage assessment * Accident reconstruction * Mechanical failures * Vehicle fire investigations * Electrical failures * Expert witness * Repairer assessmen www.iaea-online.org

 

Blameless Crashes:

'NO FAULT CRASHES'. If someone crashes into my car, completely their fault, how do I make sure I'm restored to the position I was in before they damaged my property?

Depending on the value of the car and the 'reasonableness' of the claim, the thing to do is immediately get competitive quotes for the repair then sue the other driver directly, giving notice to both your insurer and his insurer that this is what you intend to do. Do not use any kind of 'accident management company'. They are mostly trying to rope you into an expensive hire car (one reader got a bill of £29,000 for 3 months hire). If the driver refuses to pay, take the matter to the Small Claims track of the County Court and get a judgement against him. Then he (or ultimately his insurer) will be forced to pay. Now obviously this will not work of the damaged car was worth £500 and the repairs will cost £5,000. The claim for repairing the damage has to be reasonable. Everyone damaged is entitled to be put back into the position they were in immediately before the damage, whether that is financially or by replacing the damaged car or by repairing it. 

Clark v/s Ardington (Appeal Court 19-4-2002) determined that in such cases, paying the injured party the pre-crash value of their car would put them back into the position they were in immediately before the crash.

Their Lordships ruled: Sect 127 "A defendant who damages another's car should not be surprised to find that he will have to pay for a replacement car if it is needed by the claimant. A wrongdoer must take his victim as he finds him." Sect. 148 "the fundamental principle is that a person whose car has been damaged is entitled to compensation for the loss caused. In a case where such loss includes loss of use and he establishes a need for a replacement, he is entitled to the cost of hiring a replacement car"

So in a situation where the insurer wants to write off the car, the injured party has to prove the true cost of a like-for-like replacement by means of advertisements on websites like www.autotrader.co.uk. The insurance calculation is always quoted cost of repair v/s settlement price minus salvage value of the car. So if the insurer has been quoted £3,000 to repair the car, but can get £1,000 salvage for it, then it would prefer to pay a settlement of £3,750 than to repair the car. The injured party would therefore have to prove that he could not get an equivalent car for £3,750. 

More recent Appeal Court Ruling: Coles v Hetherington 2013

Just before Christmas 2013, the Court of Appeal delivered the long-awaited judgment in the case of Coles v Hetherton [2013] EWCA Civ 1704. Its conclusions have wide-reaching implications for the insurance industry and may impact on every level of case, from modest county court claims that were the subject matter of Coles itself, to multi-million pound disputes.

The case comprised 13 subrogated claims brought by policyholders who had taken out motor insurance with Royal Sun Alliance (‘RSA’). Although the claims were brought in the names of the policyholders, the real dispute was between RSA, and Allianz and Provident as insurers for the defendants. In each, a road traffic accident had occurred for which liability was admitted. However, the way in which RSA arranged for their insureds’ damaged vehicles to be repaired led to a significant dispute on quantum. The repairs were carried out by a garage for a certain amount, usually not exceeding a few hundred pounds. The work was then invoiced to RSA by a wholly owned subsidiary from within the RSA group acting, in effect, as a middleman between insurer and repairing garage. The invoice it produced was invariably higher than the amount charged by the repairing garage. RSA contended that it was entitled to recover the higher figure, because it was still a reasonably priced repair. Allianz and Provident opposed in strong terms. They said that the policyholders who claimed for sums in excess of the actual amount charged by the garage had failed to mitigate their loss.

Three issues were considered, namely:

1. What is the proper measure of loss for damage to a chattel?
2. Does it make a difference if the repair is organized by an insurer, as opposed to the Claimant himself?
3. If an insurer indemnifies an insured in respect of repairs (which, as in this case, may include sundry incidental or administrative expenses) is the total amount recoverable, provided it is still reasonable?

RSA succeeded on all three points. On the first, and main, issue, the Court of Appeal found that the proper measure of loss was the diminution in the value of the damaged chattel. That loss occurred immediately at the time of the accident so could not be mitigated by having the chattel repaired at a lower cost. Provided the claimed cost of repair was not unreasonable therefore, it was recoverable. Further, it made no difference that the Claimants were backed by insurers. The reasonable cost of repair was the cost the Claimant could have obtained on the open market: it did not matter that his insurer might have been able to obtain a better rate through its industry connections. Equally, provided the final amount claimed was reasonable, it could be recovered even if it did include sundry additional expenses.

Practical Implications

The foreboding with which these conclusions have been met by insurers highlight the advantages they offer to policyholders who find themselves in the position of having to make a claim. As long as they can show the sums sought are reasonable (or perhaps, not unreasonable), they will be recoverable. There appears to be no obligation on the policyholder – even if he is backed by an insurer – to obtain the cheapest quote. That would seem to pull the rug out from under insurers who might otherwise have sought to argue that a lower quotation ought to be preferred. It would seem to apply regardless of whether the chattel has been repaired.

Assessing the ‘reasonable’ may create its own complexities. It should be noted that in Coles the RSA invoices were, for the most part, only around 25% higher than those provided by the repairing garages. Claims which are obviously excessive will still be cut down. The Courts will no doubt be alive to the advantages offered to Claimants by Coles and may react adversely if they feel that the judgment is being used to justify overinflated claims. For that reason, it will remain important for loss adjusters who have conduct of repairs – particularly in high value claims where expenditure will be closely managed – to be mindful of the need to ensure that the final bill is kept within reasonable limits.
The Future?

It remains to be seen how long Coles will remain good law. Defendant insurers are likely to challenge it at the earliest opportunity. However, for the time being, it would appear to be a forceful friend to policyholders pursuing a recovery.

There is one further option. Having obtained details of the other driver's insurers (via the Motor Insurers' Database: www.askmid.co.uk) you obtain a pro-forma invoice (one that has been fully costed, including VAT) and write to the other driver's insurer. If they say that they cannot obtain any response from their policyholder, or that he/she doesn't want them to act on her behalf, then the little-known but very useful Fourth EC Motor Directive can be used. This enables a claimant to pursue their claim directly against the other insurer - as opposed to their policyholder - even to the point of issuing a summons in the small claims court against the insurer, thus bypassing their policyholder altogether. Under this Directive it is no longer the case that the other insurer can stand back and refuse to act, just because their policyholder can't or won't co-operate with them; this will be of no effect. If they insured the person and the vehicle involved in the accident then that is sufficient - and in certain circumstances they are also involved even if there is a complication with the cover. All you have to do is demonstrate negligence on the part of the other driver - as is always the case in a motor claim - and the other insurer will be obliged to pay up.

 

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