If you get a car accident and your insurance excess is more than you want to pay, you may be able to avoid that cost by doing your repairs yourself. DIY smash repairs can vary in difficulty from using a plastic mallet to hammer out a small dent to taking apart your entire vehicle and replacing most of its parts.
Before you start your own smash repairs, however, check out the following tips:
1. Have a professional rule out internal damage
Even if your car only looks a bit dented and you think it's all external damage, consult with a smash specialist to make sure your suspicions are correct. Even if your car seems to be running alright right now, undiscovered internal damage could easily prevent it from running effectively in the short-term future.
2. Consider splitting the work
If there is internal damage, consider hiring a smash repair expert to do take care of that and then approach the cosmetic bodywork on your own. That can help to reduce your expenses without sacrificing the quality of your car.
3. Contact wreckers for cheap replacement parts
If your plastic panels, headlight assemblies or other elements are broken, you can typically find cheap replacements from an auto wreckers. Call them with the make and model of your vehicle to see if they have the parts you need. Ideally, you want parts that match the colour of your vehicle, but if they don't, you simply need to grab a bit of spray paint or embrace the idea of a multi-coloured car.
4. Get creative on repairs
If you are just dealing with relatively cosmetic external damage, you don't have to be a smash repair expert. In many cases, you can use fun and innovative DIY smash repairs.
For example, if you have cracks in your plastic panels, you can drill small holes on either side of the crack. Then, you can insert zip ties into those holes and essentially "lace up" your cracked panel so it holds together.
If you are feeling really crafty, you can cover your entire car in spray insulation. Then, you can carve it into the shape you desire and cover the whole thing with spray paint until it looks new again.
5. Make sure the repairs are legal
If you accept payment from an insurance company to fix your car, you may be legally obligated to get repairs from a smash repair professional. Before doing any DIY work, call your insurer and make sure your repairs are legal.