A wayward shopping cart in a parking lot can do damage to your car in the form of scuffs, scrapes and even ugly dents. Thankfully, you most likely have a paintless dent repair shop near you to help keep you from having to go to an expensive body shop or scouring the internet for videos on how to fix it yourself (which is not recommended.)
Let’s look at what you can do for your car from the moment you discover the dent in the parking lot, as quick action can help reduce risk of the dent becoming worse as well as circumvent an expensive repair that may be fixed by much less expensive (and less invasive) paintless dent repair (PDR) instead.
Can I get the store to pay for my damages?
Most stores have a no liability clause in their parking lots, effectively exempting them from any damage or theft to the cars in their lots. The only way you could possibly get them to pay for the damage is if one of their workers hit your car with a cart or their carts got loose from the corral and hit it due to poor design or defect. Otherwise, you’re on your own.
Can I go through insurance?
The only way to get insurance to pay for shopping cart damage is if you have full coverage and are willing to pay the deductible as well. Here are some important things to remember if a shopping cart hits your car on a store property:
- The store cannot be held liable for the damage in 99% of cases.
- If you do not have full collision coverage, your auto insurance won’t pay for the damage.
- Take tons of photos and try to file a report with the store to better assist with your insurance claim.
- Most times, it is better to pay for dent repair out of pocket as filing an insurance claim could be more expensive or more of a hassle with the deductible.
Is it worth fixing if it’s just a small dent?
Good question. The answer is a resounding YES. It is better to fix the dent when it is small than to let it sit and stress the integrity of the metal and risk damaging your paint job. With paintless dent repair, your dents will come out easily and you can maintain the value of your vehicle, as no paint has to be removed and no traditional body work (fillers, bonding, etc.) needs to be done.
What exactly is paintless dent repair?
Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) is an assortment of auto body restoration techniques used to get out dents and dings in cars. There are various ways your PDR technician can take out the dent. They have unique tools and have trained in specialized techniques to get the dents and dings out. For larger damage, the specialist will take off panels and work to get the dent out that way. It’s a very precise and skilled technique that is done gradually to make sure no paint chips or flakes off, and that the value of your car remains intact.
Should I go with paintless dent repair?
For most dents and dings, paintless dent repair (PDR) is your best option to get them out. PDR techs have specialized equipment and training and can get your dents out without the paint being disturbed. Because of PDRs lightweight and non-invasive techniques, you won’t be able to tell where the dent event was in the first place. Dealerships and traditional body shops can cost way more and may end up costing you in the long run, as traditional body work can lower the resale value of your vehicle. Better yet, if you do choose to go through insurance, it will likely cover PDR, so the choice is yours.
Can I just fix the dent myself?
There is a reason that these kinds of automotive trades and techniques take years of training to learn and even longer to become an expert. If you go into fixing something without the proper training, you could damage your car far beyond what a shopping cart could ever do.
Many would-be DIY dent repairs end up overworking the metal, accidentally bending or piercing the metal the opposite way, causing permanent damage that can’t be undone without damaging the paint or ordering a new panel entirely.
Watching a how-to video cannot make you a PDR expert overnight, unfortunately. It is highly recommended to assess your options, and contact a PDR shop and keep the DIY experiments on more fun (and less risky) trends, like baking or dancing. A DIY fail on your car repair will cost you more money and take up far more of your time.
Car Dents Getting You Down?
Despite all your efforts to protect your investment, dents are sometimes simply out of your control. At JM Dent Repair, we know how much it means to you to get your car looking great again, and that’s why we’re trusted in the Lafayette area for affordable paintless dent repair.
Paintless dent repair eliminates the worry of a color mismatch or uneven fading, and it also preserves your vehicle’s appearance and resale value. If you’re driving a leased vehicle, it also helps you avoid expensive “wear and tear charges” on your lease return. Contact us for a quote and see why we’re the best PDR shop around.