Your Economy Car and Crash Repairs: Surprising Results!


You’ve done your home work and found a car that costs under $15,000 and that price includes air conditioning, six airbags, and a nifty sound system. With highway gas mileage approaching 35 mpg, you’re certain that you found one of today’s steals, a car that won’t drain your wallet.

Many months later you’re driving down the highway and all of sudden you come upon a sea of brake lights, but it is too late for you to stop. Bang! Your front bumper whacks into the pick up truck in front of you, with pieces of headlight and the grille flying everywhere. You’re okay and so is the other driver, whose rear bumper absorbed the crash quite well. On inspection of the damage, you’re sure that the cost of repairs won’t be too high, maybe requiring you to be without your car for a few days while it gets fixed.

Your insurance company quickly dispatches an agent who takes one look at the front end of your car and makes a face, one combining a look of frustration and disgust. While you’re certain that the $500 deductible will be all that you’ll have to pay, you’re stunned to learn that the damages incurred by what amounts to be a fender bender nears $5000, almost one third the price that you paid for the car.

You’re relieved to know that the good insurance coverage on your Hyundai Elantra means that your share of the collision bill is just $500, but you’re amazed that repair costs on this type of car is so high. Now you understand why your rates went up when you purchased your Hyundai as the insurance company was covering their backside when they agreed to insure your vehicle.

Though the story is made up, the facts are true: some small cars carry a big burden, namely a potentially huge insurance liability when covered by the insurance company. And, because insurance rates are based on risk, your premium reflects that cost, potentially increasing your auto insurance costs several hundred dollars per year, per vehicle.

The IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety), which is an independent, nonprofit, research and communication organization funded by auto insurers recently ran a low-speed crash test on 20 different models and came to the conclusion that several cars are quite vulnerable to suffering major losses in crash tests involving either full or corner front damage or full or corner rear damage. The Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Prius, and Volkswagen Rabbit had the steepest losses while the Ford Focus performed the best in the class followed by the Scion xB and Scion xD.

The big difference between models? Bumpers! Ford’s bumper bars are long and sit higher, allowing the car to sustain minimal damage in an accident. The Prius, on the other hand, incurred by far the most damage when hit squarely in the rear, a near $4000 repair that would have cost only $529 on the Focus.

So, before you buy that economical car, you may want to call your insurer first to find out what your costs will be. It could be that your insurance premium will be extra high, which should give you pause before going with that model.


Source by Matthew C. Keegan