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Advice on repairing damage from minor fender-bender

orion2001

Member
Apr 14, 2021
447
1,109
NC
I have some minor damage to my Model Y LR from a fender-bender and I'm debating what to do. The certified body shop estimated ~ $1400 to repair/paint. Insurance will cover it minus the $500 deductible. It's primarily a small dent above the wheel in the metal panel as shown and some scraped paint both on that panel and on the front bumper.

I guess the options are:

1. Live with this without spending any money on it (car is functionally fine)
2. Try a cheaper panel-only repair for the dent without tackling paint or just trying to use touch up paint on the scrapes?
3. Take it to the Tesla certified body shop and have them do the full repair that will involve painting/blending across bumper and the panel(s)

I'm just curious if going with Option 3 can potentially make paint mismatch be more noticeable than if I just went with Option 1 or 2? All other things being equal, I'd probably lean towards option 3 to have my car "like new" as I plan to own it for many years. I just don't want the end result to be underwhelming if paint mismatch is something I should be worried about? I'd appreciate any advice/opinions before I decide on my next steps. Thanks!

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Krash

Data Technician
Moderator
Apr 18, 2017
2,522
2,817
Intermountain US
Do you have a good paintless dent repair person? And / or scratch, exterior detailing person?

I might have had worse made to disappear. It is hard to tell from your photos. Although I have to go to two places here.

If you are going to keep the car for ten years, my experience has been that a repainted panel will not age to match. I would love to be wrong.
 
Last edited:

orion2001

Member
Apr 14, 2021
447
1,109
NC
Do you have a good dentless repair person? And / or scratch, exterior detailing person?

I might have had worse made to disappear. It is hard to tell from your photos. Although I have to go to two places here.

If you are going to keep the car for ten years, my experience has been that a repainted panel will not age to match. I would love to be wrong.
I think you meant paintless dent repair :) . Thanks for the suggestions. I did just reach out to a highly rated local paintless dent repair person and I'll see what he says.

I will say that my 12 year old Ford Sedan that I traded in did have a similar issue that I got repaired at a collision shop and they did a great job blending everything and it wasn't noticeable at all. But it was a silver color which I think is the easiest to match up. I'm a lot more concerned about the Tesla Blue and how well they will be able to match things up and blend across panels.
 
Find out how much your insurance will go up and for how long if you do file a claim. Also check if your policy has accident forgiveness. I assume this was your fault since you have to pay the deductible?

The deductible + rate increase over x years may be more than the $1400 the body shop quoted you, so it may make more sense to just get it fixed out of pocket.

side note - increase your deductible to $1000, you'll save on insurance over the long term.
 

orion2001

Member
Apr 14, 2021
447
1,109
NC
Find out how much your insurance will go up and for how long if you do file a claim. Also check if your policy has accident forgiveness. I assume this was your fault since you have to pay the deductible?

The deductible + rate increase over x years may be more than the $1400 the body shop quoted you, so it may make more sense to just get it fixed out of pocket.

side note - increase your deductible to $1000, you'll save on insurance over the long term.
Thanks. So in this case, it was my fault but the other party has already filed a claim for their repairs. So I wasn't really sure if my not filing a claim for my damages would actually impact any potential rate hikes along the way? I figured I'd be taking some/all of the hit anyways since the other party has filed a claim and is getting paid out by my insurance.

Regarding the deductible, I've always been at $1000, but when I looked to add the Model Y on my insurance with Amica, it was a very small difference in my premium to the point that even over 10 years of ownership, I'd come out ahead if I had even one at-fault accident. I was very surprised by it, but I will probably check periodically, especially if my rate does get hiked.
 

Krash

Data Technician
Moderator
Apr 18, 2017
2,522
2,817
Intermountain US
…they did a great job blending everything and it wasn't noticeable at all. But it was a silver color which I think is the easiest to match up….
Every color will match when you get it painted because you don’t pay for it unless it matches. The problem is that paint fades over time and new paint fades at a different rate than old paint. Also different paint types and especially clear coats fade differently. Cheap clear coats are notorious for having bad UV protection.
 

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