Clueless question about main dealers - Rebecca {P}
Sorry to be so dense, but I have had a quote (approx £300) from a Citroen dealer to repair bodywork damage (remember my tale of woe in Argos car park?) Anyway, as the quote has been issued by computer, does this mean that if I approach another dealer for a quote, that they will have access to the first quote?

The car is 03 reg - should I only consider repairs done through Citroen? I'd like to shop around, but don't want to compromise warranties etc.

And a final question (for now!) - when I got the first quote, the guy was keen to know if it would be an insurance claim or if I would be paying. Seemingly if it was on the insurance they would replace the whole panel (which is half the car) for £1000+. How can I be sure I will get an 'invisible' long lasting repair without replacing the panel?

Thanks in advance for any help.

PS Kids social calendar does not permit joining you in London - but have a great time!
Clueless question about main dealers - T Lucas
I have not seen the damage but i never like panels to be replaced on a car,i have never yet seen a replacement that was finished to the factory standard.
Also when any panels/skins are replaced the rustproofing is not usually to a very high standard and if you keep the car for more than a couple of years the new panel will start to rust.
Any repair is only going to be as good as the repairer working on the car,and bodyshop workers know all the shortcuts.
I have seen many nearly new cars with repairs that make you think that the bodyshop only employ people that 'sight impaired'.
Clueless question about main dealers - LongDriver {P}
I would stick to Citroen as your car is less than 6 months old.

£300 is probably a very minor bit of damage I should think.

One point though...what is your insurance excess and have you got your NCD protected?
Clueless question about main dealers - eMBe {P}
>>>> The car is 03 reg - should I only consider repairs
done through Citroen? I'd like to shop around, but don't
want to compromise warranties etc.>>

Check your warranty. In my case, the Maker requires bodywork to be repaired by approved bodyshops in order to retain anti-performation etc. warranty. The work should normally be accompnied by a Certficate/Gurantee detailing the extent of repair, and stating that the job has been completed to the manufacturer's standard.

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Clueless question about main dealers - Vin {P}
Chappie across my road is a real old school bodyshop owner. His views on lazy people who replace panels as a matter of course are unprintable. He says 99% of the time you can repair the original panel, which he does, because he says a replacment panel never looks right.

Hope this helps in your decision making.

Clueless question about main dealers - Andrew-T
Warranty may be the important consideration. £300 doesn't buy you much body work from a dealer, so the work can't be very extensive - and the dealer will likely pass it on to their preferred bodyshop, where you may as well take it yourself and save money. At £300 it is unlikely to be worth troubling your insurance, allowing for excess and reduced NCD next year. A good ploy is to ask a local trustworthy independent garage (if you have one) who does his bodywork.
Clueless question about main dealers - Vansboy
Does the estimate only reflect labour cost? & is it actually £300 + paint & parts? Could end up MUCH more, if you were to pay out of your own pocket.

Can you let us know what the estimate says will be done for your £$£$, or have you a picture of the damage?

I'd be inclined to let the dealer do the work on a car this new, BUT... has he his own bodyshop or is it being out-sourced? You may like to confirm who will actually carry out the repair.

Clueless question about main dealers - Mondaywoe
My C5 had the front wing bashed in by person or persons unknown when about 6 months old. I was devastated. Phoned insurance (Norwich Union) and they said to take it to local approved repairer. Now I should say this particular repairer also makes vehicle bodies so they are pretty hot.

Anyway, they took a look and said 'You need a new wing. We'll order a genuine Cit one - all pre galvanised etc. We'll paint it then give you a phone to come and get it fitted' (Yes, you heard - painted off the car!) It's a black car by the way.

Less than a week later they told me to bring the car in at 9.00am and pick it up at 5.00.


Absolutely perfect. (and I reckon I'm as finicky as anyone in this respect) The colour, panel fit, paint finish etc is exactly the same as the rest of the car - in all lights, at all angles. That was nearly a year ago now and the paint has not altered since.

Mind you, I'm maybe lucky having a black car.The bodyshop said 'Oh a black is easy peasy - usually get a good match straight out of the tin'

Remember, if the new wing is genuine Cit, accurately fitted and properly finished, there is no reason why it shouldn't be as 'good as new'. A panel which has been filled will probably have minute damage to the corrosion protection which could accelerate rust after a year or so.

Given the chance, I would definitely have a new panel - especially if it's 'bolt on' (front wings) - PROVIDED that it's genuine.

My car also has a writen warranty on the new repair.

Clueless question about main dealers - jeds
I had a scratch on the wing of my new car some time during the night of last New Years eve. It was about half an inch high and about 2 inches long. I didn't know anything about it until the young lad who did it knocked on my door about 2 days later.

The approved dealer quoted £300 which I thought was excessive. I was impressed with the young lad owning up so I shopped around and a local repair shop eventually did the job for £75 - the young lad paid. He was happy. The job was (and is) perfect and totally invisible - even though I know it's there.
Clueless question about main dealers - Godfrey H {P}
Ask around amongst your friends about recommended body shops. VBRA members guarantee their work and I wouldn't trust some main dealer bodyshops with a Sinclair C5.
Clueless question about main dealers - Rebecca {P}
Thanks as ever for your responses.

Using the insurance is a non-starter. Direct Line offered me by far the best deal when I got the car as I was getting my own insurance after being on company insurance for so long. They allowed me 5 years' NCD based on 7 years company cover. After one year I can shop around again and DL will confirm 6 years' NCD. The only restriction was that I couldn't protect the NCD during this year - seemed fair enough. Claiming for this damage will cost me 3 years of that NCD, and do who knows what to the premium. Seems worth spending £300 of the emergency fund...

I don't have the quote in front of me, but I remember it did include labour and all parts etc. If I get chance today I could photograph the damage and post it on the photo page if that would help anyone/if you're interested.

On balance then, I should stick with Citroen for this, and it may even be preferable to repair rather than replace.

Does anyone know if I am free to shop around Citroen dealers then?
Clueless question about main dealers - Andrew-T
R - many insurers 'recommend' a repair shop somewhere near you, who may get in touch with a suggested date when they will take the car away, leaving you a 'courtesy vehicle' until yours is returned, all costs included. But you won't get all this for £300, nor a replacement panel all painted etc. As insurers aren't involved I don't see why you can't shop around wherever you like. But shopping round slowly costs money, and if you get a quote much less than the £300 you will start wondering about the quality of work.

I had an insurance job done last month (screen, new wing and tidy up doors). Insurers recommended repairer 30 miles away, but I preferred my independent's local recommendation, who used to do his race cars. Insurer didn't even ask for second quote, and result is excellent. Can't tell how the costs compare, but it was certainly more convenient - except having to wait for the French to come back from hols and produce a wing.


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