[insert a deep sigh]

Ok. So. I have this damage to my car from being transported from Ohio to California by Dependable Auto Shippers. It’s a few small gouges (though deep, down to bare metal) up front, plus an ass-sized dent in the hood, toward the front. DAS only covers up to $250 in damage after a $100 deductible. So basically, to get that sweet $250, there has to be $350 in damages.

For proof, they want 2 written estimates, plus photos.

So, off we go to a couple of body shops. Free estimates, what more could you ask for?

First place, the guy looks at it, scribbles a few motes, and then sits down at his computer to compile this massive amount of data. A few minutes later he gets back up, says the hood needs to be replaced because dents like that just don’t pop out of a hood well, and the total damage -- $2000.

That’s right. Two Thousand Dollars.

We had high hopes he was very very wrong, and off we went to body shop #2. I waited in their spiffy waiting room, watching a TV made sometime in 1975 (even had the old style knob for changing channels, but hey, it works and works well!) Guy #2 took his clipboard and went out to look at the car, then came back in and sat at his computer compiling all this data. And when he was done… $1600.

He agreed without even being asked: the hood needs to be replaced. And not only that, the thingy the hood latches to is bent and there’s a small crack in it, but it’s still functional.

Now, when you consider that this car still needs front struts, and there’s an interesting and fun new popping noise coming from the left front wheel, as well as a clicking coming from that side when in motion…and the idle is still off, making it sputter and then die at totally inappropriate times, you can see where we might be reluctant to get this damage fixed. It’s not like DAS is going to pay for what they phkd up.

It’s also not like we were ever given the option to buy additional insurance through them, but their limits were printed on one of the forms we signed. Sure, it was on the BACK, but we did sign it.

And our insurance company would surely cover it, but why risk our rates increasing over this?

The car is drivable…I’m ticked beyond belief that this damage seriously devalues the car, but it’s drivable. And unless it dies while I’m on the Interstate with a semi bearing down on me (and don’t think that hasn’t crossed my mind) I can probably drive it for a while still. At least until that popping sound turns out to be a crack, and the wheel falls of. While I’m doing 65 mph, with my luck.

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