The Auto Repair Estimate Process

The estimate process is a simple one, when we get to see the car in person.  Every day we get countless of emails and texts requesting an estimate, and although many people include pictures of their cars, we really can’t determine what the real condition of the car is, specially from the inside.  Regardless, we still give a rough estimate and that is strictly what it is a rough approximation because we won’t know what the extent of the damage until we see it for ourselves.  You are always welcome to bring in your car anytime during our business hours or if you need to come by at another time, give us a call to make an appointment.  It’s free!

Assessing The Damage on Your Car

Any approximation we give our prospective clients over email or text is an approximation not an actual quote.  We prefer to look at the damage on your vehicle in person so we may see what can be repaired and what may need to be replaced in order for you to get a true auto repairs estimate at our shop.  The damage might not be limited to the exterior sheet metal.  Depending on your vehicle, the parts may be much more expensive than the necessary labor to repair it.

What’s In An Auto Body Auto Repairs Estimate?

Your estimate will include the following:


On the estimate the two most expensive items will be labor and parts.  The technicians labor might include doing one or more of the following below:

  • Auto body repair
  • Auto paint
  • Disassembly
  • Electrical
  • Frame/Structural
  • Mechanical
  • Reassembly


Parts is a big part of the repairs estimate, all depending on your car’s make and model.   Parts might need to be special ordered, some are ready for pick up or delivery.  Prices range from the type of part you or your insurance company wants or approves.  Here are a few types of parts available:

  • Aftermarket (Reproduction Parts)
  • New
  • NOS (New-Old-Stock)
  • OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)
  • Repaired (Reconditioned Parts)
  • Salvage Parts
  • Used

Other Items Included Auto Repairs Estimate

  • Car Rental
  • EPA/Waste Disposal/Taxes
  • Paint Materials
  • Storage
  • Towing

Is Your Insurance Paying For The Repairs Or Are You?

Insurance Estimate

An experienced estimator also known as an adjuster will know to look for hidden damage and will list the parts that need to be replaced and/or repaired.  The adjuster’s task is to inspect the damaged vehicle thoroughly, to determine which parts must be replaced versus which parts can be repaired.  While they are making this calculation, they compile a complete list of parts to be replaced, repaired, and/or refinished.  The more thorough the list, the more accurate their estimate.  Check with your insurance company if they also pay for loaner cars while yours is in the shop.

To Repair or Replace. That Is The Question.

What Can Be Repaired?

If a damage cannot be straightened, smoothed out, and refinished, then the damaged piece will be replaced.

What Must Be Replaced?

Nearly any dented automotive sheet metal can be straightened.  Small rips or tears in sheet metal can be repaired by welding the metal back together.  A simple dent created by a single point of contact can be fixed, while multiple forces from different directions should consider replacing the affected panel.

Repair vs. Replacement

After considering the factors above, how do we determine repairs or replacement?  If there is the option to choose, then we leave that choice up to you.   Consider your time, your budget, the materials you want, and the overall refinish quality you desire.  Your satisfaction is our priority.

Do you need an auto repair estimate?

Come by West Coast Body and Paint, our collision repair shop anytime, we are open or contact us if you need to come in off hours.  Give us a call at 818.785.2639 or drop us a line at  We serve the San Fernando Valley and the Los Angeles area.