I collided with the back of another car. I had a quote from a garage authorized by my insurer that seems large. The estimator made it sound a lot more serious than I expected. He says it's going to cost 1500 easy for the two new headlights, front grill, new front bumper. He says it may need a new front bumper beam. He also said there was a slight bend in the front passenger wing.

How can I get a general guideline for the cost of repairs so I know if the estimate is reasonable?

  • 1
    You can't. There are too many variables and they're too specific to your situation (including the local legal posture). That's why this question is likely to be closed as too localized / shopping advice.
    – Bob Cross
    Jun 21, 2015 at 1:11

2 Answers 2


If it's your car, and if the car's still drivable, then bring it to another garage (or 2 or 3) for a quote in person.

No headlights should be ok during daylight, and I think hand turn signals are still legal in CAN/US if your signals are broken, but you might want to phone & ask at a local motoring association (AMA/CAA, etc) to make sure, a ticket for no lights/signals wouldn't make things any cheaper.

And/or you could take just the quote from the first garage, and ask other garages about how much the repair would cost if they did the work. Asking over the phone might work too.

BUT, if it were the repair bill for other car that you rear-ended you're concerned about, I think you're stuck. That owner should be able to have their car repaired wherever they want, if your insurance says it's ok & they'll be paying.

Similarly, you should be allowed to have your car repaired wherever you want. But if your insurance is paying to repair your car at a "good" garage, why do you care how much it will cost? Will your insurance rates go up less if you have it repaired at a cheaper place (maybe with cheaper or used parts, which for a bumper could theoretically be less safe)? Or are you considering having it repaired yourself & not making an insurance claim? Would that make a difference to your insurance rates, since they already know you rear-ended a car & might be increasing your rates anyway?

  • Along these lines, the insurance company knows how much it should cost as most have estimators which do a pretty good job. They will not pay a shop to do shoddy work. Also, most shops have lifetime warranties on their work, which means if you aren't happy with the job they've done (within reason), they should fix your issues. Jun 20, 2015 at 19:56

I think it would be very difficult to give a precise estimate over the Internet, without actually seeing the vehicle. You need to take a good look at the complete structure, not only the apparent bits but also underneath. Even if it does seem just such a bit of a superficial bang, modern vehicles are built with deformable structures that bend to absorb collision energy.

Also take into account that bumpers now go around the whole front of the vehicle, so are quite large and expensive (and ditto for headlights). Parts come in plain black, so painting also costs some money.

Get another quote, from another garage. You will be surprised how large the differences can be, specially if the second agrees some of the existing parts can be fixed instead of changed (the wing), or second-hand parts can be sourced. This may be difficult for the bumper, though, front bumpers tend to be in high demand.


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