Reporting Heather Brown
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – With this ice and extreme cold come a few fender benders.
And if your car needs repairs, get ready for a little sticker shock. The cost of simple fixes has increased over the years.
The Rojek family learned this recently.
When the family’s car was hit by a pizza delivery girl, it caused a dent in the bumper cover, and the entire cover had to be replaced.
Paul Hagen, of Hagen’s Auto Body, says cars are now built to take more of the impact in a crash. Because of this, repairs to cars are more expensive.
“Repairs have skyrocketed over the years, because of safety issues,” Hagen said.
Bumpers have changed, too. They’re now made more stylish and safe, unlike the old steel bumpers.
“Anytime that we get to where the damage is a hole or a crack or a major deformation [in the bumper cover], we have to replace the bumper cover,” Hagen said.
Winter makes such deformations more likely. In the summer, the plastic is softer and more flexible. But when temperatures drop, the plastic becomes more rigid and brittle. This means that hitting a hard snow bank while going 5 mph can cause significant damage.
“I see people coming with that all the time,” Hagen said. “Be careful parking your car.”
A new bumper cover can run from $400 to 500. Labor — including paint — can double the price.
If you do get into an accident and need a rental car during repairs, talk with your insurance agent about coverage.
It can run between $30 to $50 a year, but would cover 80-90 percent of the rental car costs.