Bay Area body shops

cyber_xcyber_x Member Posts: 37
Hey everyone,

I was recently involved in an accident on the freeway, and my front and rear bumpers were pretty heavily damaged. I was wondering if any of you from the San Francisco Bay Area could recommend some local body shops? Preferably in or near San Jose.

My car isn't very expensive or anything (actually, it's rather cheap), so the shop doesn't necessarily have to be the best, as long as it's affordable and does halfway decent work. The other driver was at-fault, and his insurance is covering the repair costs, so I'm hoping to cash out and find a relatively inexpensive place.

Thanks a lot for your time and any help you can provide.


  • kinleykinley Member Posts: 854
    Next time you have a premium increase, smile. Right?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    It's not scamming. He has a right to collect for all legitimate damage to his car and spend the money any way he wishes. He can go out and buy beer with his check and leave the car a wreck if he so chooses (not recommending this as a way of getting ahead in life).

    What is "scamming" is padding out the bill to skin the other driver, or kickbacks to the body shop, or charging for damage that previously existed. But if he collects for new parts and puts on old ones, that's what he paid insurance have his car fixed "good as new". Not his fault somebody bashed into him. It's his money!
  • kinleykinley Member Posts: 854
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I know, I know, but if he's up front about it with everyone, I think he's well within his rights.

    Besides, he has to face the risk of a lousy job if he skimps too much on the cost. Bad bodywork is a lot like bad cement work. It's awfully hard to get rid of.
  • cyber_xcyber_x Member Posts: 37
    Um...plenty of people cash out, find a cheap place to do the repairs, and then pocket some of the change. That's making the best of a bad situation - making lemonade when life gives you lemons. If you consider it scamming, then hey, that's your right, but I don't agree.

    And as Mr. Shiftright pointed out, the money needed to repair the car, and restore it to its pre-accident state, is legally mine to do with as I wish.

    To me, personally, scamming is claiming to have accident-related injuries, when in fact, you do not. Scamming is vandalizing your own car, collecting insurance money, and then having it fixed by your buddies for cheap. Scamming is also having body shops write you fake high estimates so that you can get as much money as possible from the insurance company. I can see the similarities between the scenarios (mine and the ones I have just mentioned), but the details make all the difference.

    Feel free to judge the situation any way you like - that's your perogative. But if I had really wanted to scam the insurance company, I would've gone for the big bucks and claimed to have accident-related injuries, which I did not do. I'm a honest person and not one to take money that I'm not legally entitled to; however, I am indeed one to make the best out of a crappy situation.

    Please keep in mind...I was driving to work on the freeway one morning, minding my own business, when the other car swerved into my lane and hit me hard. I'm pretty lucky I didn't hit the center divider, because I came within inches of it. When we both pulled over, the other guy got out and immediately checked if I was okay, because everyone knows that injuries are one of the most lucrative scams around. Well, I had no injuries and didn't claim any, and the estimates I am getting from the body shops (and thus roughly what the insurance company will give me) are honest prices for what it costs to repair my bumpers. I don't ask them to inflate the estimates, I simply show them my car and ask how much it will cost to repair.

    For the record, I don't even have full coverage on my own vehicle. I have liability coverage only. That should at least partially indicate that I don't plan to scam any insurance companies anytime soon.

    But hey, think what you will.
  • duperduper Member Posts: 127
    Check out American Imports or American Collision Repair (I can't recall the exact name but it's American something), in South San Jose next to Cosco on Senter Rd. They can do free estimate of the damage and it's up to you to repair or not.
    There are a few on San Carlos St. near SJ downtown and most of them estimate for free.

    This was exactly what I did when my last car got hit. The insurance company estimated to be around $3500 in damages and cut me a check. I brought it a independent shop and got it fixed for $2500, and pocket 1K. I didn't ask for the check, they just cut it and gave it to me. I think it's cheaper for the insurance company to roughly estimated and give you cash rather than having you car in the shop and found out it'd cost alot more. A few people I know had done this. Maybe it's the California thing.

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