I was in an accident about a month ago and I'm trying to figure out a good way to repair the damage (I'm a college student and the car has no collision on it, so having it fixed is gonna be tight on my wallet). I brought it to one place and they wanted like $4500 to fix it. I brought it to Maaco today, I'll see what they come up with on Monday, but if I had to guess I'd say they'll do it for $3500.

Anyway, the first guy wanted to charge me $800 for the bumper (OEM), $350 for a hood (Aftermarket), $500 for the radiator support (OEM), and $260 for the grille. When all is said and done, the price of parts came out to $2500 (I left some others out), then add about $2000 for labor, paint, and tax.

I found an identical car (albeit different color) on Craigslist that's being parted out. I gave him a call and he said he'd give me all the aforementioned parts for $250. Now the thing is, that seems like a no-brainer to me as long as the parts are in good, working condition. I'm just not sure if any body shops will entertain me buying the parts separately. It's kind of like bringing your own food to a restaurant I guess.

Here are some pictures of the damage if you're curious. I'm having problems with the image uploading tool, so I'm just gonna post the direct links. It's a 2001 Audi A4, 2.8L engine, AWD.

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here


2 Answers 2


I would believe most body shops will do the work with you bringing them the parts. I recently had to replace the bumper on my Mo-n-Law's car. I bought one online, took it to the body shop, they painted it, and I brought it home and installed it. They charged me a set price for getting it painted. There was no issue with them doing this.

Since you said the car which you are getting the parts off of is exactly the same, I'm assuming you are saying it is a color match to your car as well. If so, you should be able to use these parts without having to paint them. This will save you a ton of money. The body shop will not warranty these parts, though, for obvious reasons.

Bottom line is, if the body shop you've talked to won't do this, go find another body shop. Like I said, most body shops will use the parts you provide. They want the business, or they don't. Should not be an issue either way, as there are plenty of other body shops to be had.

  • Whoops, sorry. It's not the same color. Other than that, it has the same engine, lights, year, etc. So it's not exactly exactly the same, but it's close enough. Feb 1, 2014 at 22:46
  • 1
    Because it is a different color, it could actually end up costing you more for the repairs. Whatever prep-work and painting they have to do to the parts, is going to cost you. If they get new (for the most part OEM) parts, they come pre-primered. They will shoot these the color of your vehicle, and then put them on. It takes a lot less man hours to get it done. Labor is where it's going to cost you. Something to think about. You can also find new parts on the internet, but shipping will kill you. Things to think about. Feb 1, 2014 at 22:49
  • 1
    Just figured I'd update this now that the car is fixed. I ended up bringing it to Maaco, they were cool with me bringing parts. I ended up getting the parts from a donor car I found on Craigslist. The car was tan so everything needed to be painted. But I ended up getting the parts for $350 and the repair was like $1700, so I essentially cut the bill in half and then some. I'm happy with the paint job, you'd never know it was a Maaco paint job: no runs, no bubbling, no spider cracks and whatnot. They apparently used factory paint too and it matches perfectly. I'd use them again in a heartbeat. Apr 7, 2014 at 15:16
  • 2
    @Paulster2: If money is really tight, repainting is optional, no? Apr 10, 2014 at 3:16
  • 1
    @NateEldredge ... It absolutely is an option. I was just pointing out that the possibility of that option costing more money. Do not discount new parts arbitrarily because you think it will cost you more. Weigh all of your options before you make a choice. Apr 10, 2014 at 10:06

Buy the used parts. $4500 is almost the price of an entire car. If you want to save lots of money, do the paint prep work yourself. You'll need to watch an instructional video on doing it properly, but it's basically LOTS of sanding with various grades of sandpaper and possibly filling dents in with body-filler. It's a long and tedious job, but you'll feel good for having completed it. Just remember that if you don't feel like spending a couple of hours sanding a bumper or hood, then rather pay someone to do it. Either do it right, or have someone do it for you.

If you're really brave, you could even get an aftermarket shop to mix the paint for you and apply it yourself. Though you must be VERY careful to do it properly according to instructions. You MUST use a good primer. You MUST apply lots of very thing layers, waiting a couple of minutes between layers. You MUST sand down imperfections between applications. You MUST apply a good high-gloss to finish off. Finally: you MUST polish afterward.

As for the grille, it's a very easy job to do yourself. But do it last, for obvious reasons.

And do one thing at a time. Rather spend extra time doing one thing properly than rushing the whole job and having it look bad.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .