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What is an Estimate?

An estimate is a complete damage report listing in detail every part, operation, labor hour, and other materials needed to complete the repair.  A professional accurate estimate helps build confidence.  It explains the job from beginning to end.  It tells you exactly what you will receive for each repair dollar.

The Expert 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!

Professionally 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.

At West Coast Body and Paint we inspect these five areas.

  1. Immediate Impact Area.  This is the location of the primary damage.
  2. Remaining Body Damage.  This is the area that may have any secondary damage.
  3. Mechanical Components.
  4. Interior Compartment.  This includes all the areas with damage like the compartment, including the trim, lights, accessories, controls, and finish.
  5. Exterior Components.

The inspection will begin from front to the rear of your vehicle or vice-versa depending where the collision occurred.  Then we look from the outside in.  We make a list of all the damage to the exterior, panels, structure, subassemblies, components, and attachments.

  • Bumper system
  • Quater panels
  • Deck lid
  • Roof
  • Pillars
  • Floor pans
  • Supports
  • Grille
  • Hood
  • Fenders
  • Lights
  • Glass
  • Doors
  • Wheels
  • Fluid leakage
  • Underbody panels
  • Component supports
  • Structural supports
  • Rails
  • Split seams
  • Flange damage
  • Popped stop welds
  • Distorted metal

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

Additional time may also be required for other operations, for example:

  • Access Time.  Removing extensively damaged parts by cutting, pushing, pulling etc.
  • Anticorrosion Rust-Resistant Material.  Removing or applying undercoating or added conditioning.
  • Broken Glass Cleanup.
  • Detail.
  • Electronic Components.  Time it takes to remove and install wiring.
  • Time to Reset Memory Code Function.
  • Frame Setup
  • Free Up Parts. Time necessary to free up parts frozen by rust or corrosion.
  • Measure and Identify.  Structural damage to unibody vehicles.
  • Plug and Finish Holes.
  • Repair and Align.  Parts adjacent to parts begin replace.
  • Rework Parts.  Time to fit a particular year or model like cutting holes, or modifying components.
  • Tar and Grease. Time for removal of these or any material.
  • Transfer Time.  For welded or riveted brackets, braces or reinforcements form old part to new part.


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

Other Items Included In The 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.

When deciding what to do, consider… What is the extent of the damage?  The major deciding factor is cost.  There comes a point when it is more economical to replace a panel that to repair it.

Do you need a professional auto repair estimate in Van Nuys or the Los Angeles area?

Come by West Coast Body and Paint, our honest 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, text 818.793.7728, or drop us a line at  We serve the San Fernando Valley and the Los Angeles area.  Clients love us and we love them, don’t just take our word for it, read our reviews.

Our estimates are free.  Once we receive your images we will provide you with an initial estimate.   The estimate is a ballpark figure, and after we assess your vehicle’s damage in person, we will review the estimate with you.  If you agree to the final estimate, we will begin repairing your car.  Fill out the form below or contact us through WhatsApp to request a quote.

“There’s no better way to fix your car” Jaider and his crew are awesome. It is hard to earn a 5***** review in this business but actually Jaider earn 6 stars because he provided excellent service not just ones but 3 consecutive times. First he fixed my motorcycle. He fixed my car two times. All other Body shop try to charge me crazy price because my motorcycle was a BMW. Jaider inspected the damage on my bike and made an immediate estimate and offered to fix the bike for a affordable price. Two days later I was riding my bike with a smile. Excellent paint job no orange peels, no distressed paint at all. It was looks like I got the painted parts from the dealer.

Next time I returned with an almost impossible request. My luxury car headlight had a extra deep ugly damage. Anybody who saw that told me to get a new headlight because it is not repairable! OMG dealer price $1500 ohh no…. He inspected and told me: give me a day to work on that and come back tomorrow.arts from the dealer.

If you like it you pay me a flat affordable price what we agreed or if you think you don’t like my job than don’t pay at all. He did a miracle or either he’s a magician or he got a $1500 new headlight for me. But I don’t think so…. He just simply professional and do the job like nobody else. He and his guys are friendly, fast and do a AAA service and jobs.

He build a friendly price for his kindness and service. NOT A THIEF AT ALL. He’s an honest “body”. They really know what they are doing.

Highly recommended and I don’t think you can find a better body shop in LA. Trust me and trust his 5***** reviews.  Thanks a million Jaider!!!!!!!” 

-Evan M. Los Angeles, Ca. 8/19/18