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Here’s a bunch of tips that will help you get the family car back on the road without the fuss.

Accidents happen. Whether it’s a low speed smash in the supermarket parking lot, damage from pelting hail, or a rear end collision in traffic, damage to the family car can occur.

The incident itself can be stressful enough, especially with one or more children in the back. However, it’s often during the repair process that the biggest headaches can arise.

Here are five tips for avoiding common problems with repairing the family car.

Tip 1: You can choose your own repairer

If your insurance policy includes choice of repairer then it is your right to choose who works on your car. If you have a smash repairer you trust, you can request that they do the repairs.

Insurers regularly encourage their members to choose affiliated repairers, also known as ‘insurer preferred repairers’. However, these repairers don’t always offer the best value or highest quality repairs – sometimes these repairs can even lead to safety concerns.

So, remember, you don’t have to settle for repairs you don’t trust. If you’re unhappy with your insurer’s preferred repairer, back yourself and choose your own.

Tip 2: Ask about a free courtesy car

Life doesn’t stop while your car is being repaired. Kids still need to get to school, errands still need to be run, and you still need to get to work.

Choose a repairer with a free courtesy car and you can get on with your day to day while your car is being repaired. In fact, you’d be surprised how much a free courtesy car can save you. The alternative, renting your own hire car, can be quite expensive.

Public transport is another option. However, traversing a packed morning train with one or more kids (who love exploring) can be stressful to say the least. Avoid PT mishaps, when choosing your repairer ask about a free courtesy car.

Tip 3: Avoid cheap and nasty repairs

By their very nature, car smash repairs are usually an unexpected expense. Nobody plans to have a traffic accident, they just happen, often at the most inconvenient time.

As the costs of repairs can put extra pressure on an already strained budget, the temptation may be to choose the cheapest or quickest repairer listed in the phone book.

Of course you know why this is a bad idea. As the old adage says, you get what you pay for. Cheap and nasty repairs can fail prematurely or be unsafe. In the finish they may end up costing you more, and the last thing you want is to have to ‘repair the repairs’.

Tip 4: Get genuine parts

Most modern car companies offer a network of replacement parts. So, if your car’s components are damaged they can be replaced with parts from the original manufacturer.

These ‘genuine parts’ or parts made by your original manufacturer feature the same performance and quality assurances as the parts that came with your car. So you know you’re getting quality parts that are made for your car’s exact specifications.

Non-genuine parts may not be as durable, well-fitting, or long-lasting. And, a part that doesn’t quite fit can, over time, cause damage and real problems for your car.

Tip 5: Ask your repairer about their guarantee

Most drivers will, thankfully, never have to think about their repairer’s guarantee. After all it’s only when things go wrong that the guarantee becomes really important.

A solid guarantee though can also ensure your peace of mind. We’ve all heard the stories about cars breaking down on the way home from the repair shop. With a quality repairer this is unlikely to happen, but again it’s good to know you’re covered.

It can take a minute to ask your repairer about their guarantee. And, don’t be afraid of causing offence, a reputable service provider should be happy to explain their policy regarding the company guarantee.

What’s your experience been with getting your car repaired? Do you have any tips you’d add to this list?

Image source Shutterstock.

  • these are great tips. hopefully your insurance mob are kind to you

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  • My daughter needs repairs done to her car at the moment. Mechanical ones though not from an accident

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  • All great tips. I’ve had my car repaired once when somebody ran into the back of our car when I was 4 months pregnant. We took it out of town to the recommended car repairer (as told by our insurer). It was obviously inconvenient to be without the car but to also get it to and from the repairer. Good to know I have rights and choices.

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  • Great tips and points to consider.

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  • Good tips, thanks.

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  • Thanks for your tips – I’ll keep them in mind in case.

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  • Thanks for the article, though many of these are “extras” these days.

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  • Yes, I’ve never thought about their guarantee – thanks for this article.

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  • If you are the not at fault driver then you are entitled to a free loan car through companies like right to drive or compass claims. Even if at fault driver isn’t insured, your insurer will chase payment privately.

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  • Finding a reputable mechanic is probably the best first step.

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  • Thanks for your article,fingers crossed we wouldn’t need it in the future but you never know!

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  • By our last accident our car was written off. The person who caused the accident wasn’t insured and for this reason we couldn’t get a courtesy car….Very very unhandy !!

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  • Great tips! I hope I don’t need them any time soon though!

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  • Thanks for the tips – it is such a worry when car repairs are needed.

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  • We had a minor bingle involving someone rear ending us. I had to chase several quotes for our insurance company which was tough, but we were able to obtain a free courtesy car which helped alot.
    Just make sure the car has carseat anchor points in it if you have children.

    Reply

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