Get a free at-home estimate for auto body services in the Twin Cities.
When you have an idea of how much your repairs would cost, you can decide if you want to repair your vehicle, or see if it makes sense to submit an insurance claim.
In 99% of cases, we are able to get an initial estimate remotely. That means you won’t need to visit our repair center until your repair appointment.
How to get an at-home estimate
1. Call us or email us
During business hours: Call us at (651) 490-6606.
Outside business hours: Call and leave a message, or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. You’ll get an estimate link
We’ll send an SMS message with an estimate link to your phone. You will need a smartphone with a camera.
3. Upload photos
The estimating tool will walk you through taking exactly the right photos that we need so we can give you the most accurate estimate possible.
It will show you what areas to take a photo of, from what angle, and from how far away. You’ll just need good lighting, your phone, and your car!
It will also help you take a photo of the VIN plaque on your vehicle. We can then decode this information and get technical details on your vehicle.
4. We create an estimate
Our experienced estimators will then review your vehicle’s information. You can expect to have your intial estimate within 1 business day!
Questions about estimates
How accurate is a remote estimate?
If all the damage is visible in the photos, you can trust our estimate to be quite accurate. Compared to an in-person estimate without disassembling any body panels, a photo estimate can be about the same level of accuracy.
For either a remote or in-person initial estimate at our St Paul body shop, we can only evaluate what is on the surface. Often there is damage hidden beneath that can only be seen after we start to disassemble the vehicle.
Is an online estimate good enough for my insurance company?
Yes, in 99% of cases, we are able to get an estimate approved with your insurance company without actually seeing the vehicle in person. In some cases, the insurance company will want you to get an estimate through their own process, too. Don’t worry! When you contact us, we will ask what insurance company you are using and we’ll know how to work with them.
It used to be (30 or 40 years ago) that when you had a collision, you had to go around to three different collision repair centers, get estimates from each of them, and bring them to your insurance agent. The insurance company would then make a payment directly to you based on the estimates. This is now history! We can work directly with your insurance company and avoid unnecessary duplicate work.
Will my car total out?
This depends on three factors: the cost of repairs, the value of your vehicle, and the policies of your insurance company. Different insurance companies lean towards totalling out vehicles, whereas others will invest more in repairing the vehicle.
The value used to make the decision to total or not is made by the insurance company, not by the body shop.
It used to be that Hyundais, for example, had such a low resale value that they would total out after even a tiny accident. Nowadays, Hyundais are much more desirable and hold their value better, so even for a $20,000 repair, the insurance company might pay up.
Read more about collision repair through insurance.
How much does auto body repair typically cost?
Body damage repair on modern cars is usually quite expensive. Typically, the more unique a car’s appearance, the more expensive replacement panels will be, and repairs can also be complicated by decisions that were made for design or safety purposes.
An accident doesn’t need to look serious or have been dangerous to the passengers to rack up a big repair bill. Here in the Twin Cities, we see cars slide on ice at low speeds, and even these “small” accidents can result in an expensive dent in the wrong spot.
As a general rule of thumb, the faster the vehicle was going at the moment of collision, the more expensive the damage will be to repair. This is an extreme generalization, so don’t be surprised if your vehicle’s repairs are completely in a different range.
- 1-5 small dents: Under $1,000, if repairable using paintless dent repair
- Parking lot fender bender: $1,000+ (we even see $8,000 fender-bender repairs)
- Low-speed, neighborhood streets: $5,000+
- City speeds: $10,000+
- Highway speeds: $20,000+ (likely totalled)
The cost of repairs has gone up over time
In the 1980s and 1990s, cars were simpler. There were no backup cameras, wave radars, lane sensors, or sculpted LED headlights. Typical costs for a bumper, grille and headlight repair were in the $1,000 range. Nowadays, with the increased technology, custom panels, and fast driving speeds, even a simple fender-bender repair can be over $8,000.
For example, on a vehicle with custom shaped LED headlights integrated into the grille, a smashed headlight alone can cost over $4,000. The headlight and grille piece can only be obtained from a specific supplier, and is a single large piece, meaning it’s not possible to replace just the headlight.
Questions? Contact our Minnesota body shop! It’s fast, easy, and free.