Road incidents are never fun, even if they are only minor. If you've sideswiped your car and lost a side-view mirror or dented a passenger door, you may be wondering how urgently you need to get side panel repairs done.
The answer will depend on the severity of your vehicle's side damage. Generally, it's good to get on top of any type of smash repairs as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you may risk voiding your insurance policy or compromising the structural integrity of your car.
Side panel damage typically occurs when another road user sideswipes your car, or you try and fail to squeeze through a tight spot. Side collisions are particularly frustrating because someone else's carelessness usually causes them, but it's also infuriating to scrape your car against a car park pillar or concrete wall.
Regardless of how you damaged your car's side panel, dealing with the aftermath of any side impact accident is complex and stressful. Here's everything you need to know about side damage panel beating so you can maintain your safety—and sanity.
Sideswipe accidents happen every day
Sideswipe car accidents can be caused by a number of factors and occur in almost any traffic environment. They're one of the most common types of car accident out there.
Typically, one driver drifts into another driver's lane, scraping the side of the other vehicle. Side impact collisions are often the result of careless, negligent, or absentminded actions, and can start a dangerous chain reaction of traffic accidents as other vehicles swerve to avoid a hit.
Sometimes referred to as 'blind spot accidents', sideswipe accidents can also occur when a sole driver is distracted or in a hurry and swipes a tree, road sign, pillar, wall, fence or light pole. In these cases, it's common for a side-view mirror to get damaged or broken off, creating a major safety hazard.
It's illegal to drive with a damaged, broken or missing side-view mirror in Australia, so always bear this in mind when thinking about whether you want to cough up for side panel damage repairs.
Side panel damage impacts your vehicle's safety
Modern cars are designed to be tough, but they're not bulletproof (well, some are, but that's a different story). If you sideswipe your car and don't prioritise getting side panel repairs, its safety may be compromised, and related mechanical problems could surface further down the road.
Both major and minor car accidents can cause structural damage to any type of vehicle, and not all damage is visible from the outside. Even if your car only appears to have a few cosmetic scratches following a sideswipe collision, taking it to your local panel beater could save you thousands in the long run.
An experienced panel beater will be able to inspect your vehicle from top to bottom and tell you whether that minor cosmetic damage is just that. Most will offer a free cost estimate for side damage repairs, so you really have nothing to lose by getting an expert opinion.
Side panel repairs vary in cost and approach
Cost is one of the first things people tend to panic about after experiencing a car accident, particularly if they don't know what steps to take next. If you have comprehensive car insurance and the collision wasn't your fault, you shouldn't end up too far out of pocket. However, cost is far from the only consideration.
The panel beating products and parts used by your selected smash repairer should ideally correspond to the make and model of your vehicle. Otherwise, you may end up dramatically lowering your car's resale value without even realising it. It's incredibly important to ask about the process and parts your panel beater uses to establish whether you are getting good value or simply cheap repairs.
Look for a panel beater who is well-known in the industry for top repairs and offers before and after photos on their website. Whoever you choose should be willing to talk you through the costs involved as well as the parts they use, the process they undertake, and how car insurance works in your particular situation.
Why choose Sheen?
At Sheen Panel Service, we carry out cost-effective and reliable repairs for all vehicle types, including luxury, high-performance, and company cars. We help you navigate the complex world of insurance claims, and we provide accident replacement vehicles while we complete repairs so you can stay on the road.