CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – With limited supply and skyrocketing prices for new and used vehicles, some drivers are choosing to have their cars repaired rather than replaced.
“We definitely fix cars that we would never have fixed before, and it’s not a safety issue or anything, it’s a pure dollar amount,” Steve Sawicki, the owner of CARSTAR effect of the cascadesaid.
After an accident, a vehicle is considered a total loss or a write-off if the insurance company decides it is not worth repairing. But given the limited supply of new and used cars, the average market value of a car has skyrocketed, according to Sawicki.
“Typically you go to 70% of the vehicle’s value, so now you’ve increased that value and can now continue to repair it,” Sawicki said.
To put it simply, Bodywork Technician Andy Ondrajka said it takes a lot more to complete a car today than it did two years ago.
“I just finished building a Subaru that probably should have been totaled, but we ended up putting two quarter panels in…and some of the floor inside,” Ondrajka said.
Given the possibility, Sawicki said, some drivers choose to repair their vehicle after an accident rather than replace it.
“Trying to find something to replace it with, that’s the problem,” Sawicki said. “So they get more for their total loss, but then they try to track down another who’s in the same condition and have problems.”
He said some customers even bought their vehicle back from the insurance company after it was deemed a total loss.
If you bring your car in for major repairs, you have to expect longer waiting times than usual.
“My biggest problem right now is getting parts,” Sawicki said.
The supply chain issues affect virtually every automaker. Sawicki said he’s been backordering countless parts for months.
In some cases, the workshop gets creative and temporarily repairs a vehicle using old parts or different materials.
“We kind of stitch cars together to get them back on the road until we have parts,” Ondrajka said. “We have to tie things back together until we can get them.”
Sawicki said as long as the car is safe to drive, they will get it back on the road as soon as possible.