Right now, Classic Auto Collision in Marquette, MI, has about 45 cars being repaired or waiting to be worked on, and it's only the beginning of the month. In December, the shop moved 70 cars from start to finish.
"So like right now, we're seeing the deer hits come in, the collisions come in [and] the two new roundabouts in town are kind of stirring up some collision-related repairs as well, and they're ranging anywhere from $2,500 all the way up to $12,000 worth of damage. So we're kind of seeing all ends of the spectrum as far as the collision-related repairs," says Jen Kinney, Manager of Classic Auto Collision in Marquette.
On average, cars remain in the shop between 10 days to two weeks, and the process is broken down into many different steps.
"Our system is broken down into an estimating area, an actual repair area, a painting area, a final assembly area, and a detail and inspection area, so there [are] many steps to the process. From the time that we receive your car on the back of a wrecker to the time it goes out the door looking like new, many hands have touched it," says Mark Leonard, a service technician at Classic Auto Collision.
On average, people are paying around $2,500 to $3,000 per accident, but the severity of the accident is a big factor in how much they’ll end up paying.
"Sometimes it could be a couple thousand dollars because you need a new door; sometimes it could be $10,000 because you need several new parts and pieces, so it depends on the speed that you're going, whether you're moving as well as the other car, or if your car was just hit while parked, how fast you were going when you hit the deer---a lot of different things can weigh in there to escalate the amount of damage," describes Kinney.
Newer vehicles may end up costing more to repair because of the new technology involved. When someone gets into an accident, the repair shop looks not only at the vehicle area involved with the collision, but the rest of the vehicle as well.
"The cars have become more sophisticated, undoubtedly, and the cost to repair them has risen significantly in the last 10, 15, 20 years from what it used to be, so the cost of repairs has risen with the advancement of the automotive technology, absolutely," Leonard says.