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Should we pay for this damage?

(34 Posts)
kinki Fri 29-Aug-08 17:21:10

A few months ago my 8yo ds fell off his bike and fell onto our neighbour's car, causing a tiny dink and a scratch to the paintwork. He was ok, just a bit shocked.

We did the stupid responsible thing and rung on their door to say sorry and report the damage. The owner was angry though not directly to ds. She was angry because apparently this is the 6th time someone has caused damage to her car. At the time I said we'd pay for the damage to be repaired. They said they'd think about it.

Today, several months later, they've given us an estimate for £286 for the repair at a main dealer workshop and asked for the money by the end of the weekend.

So what do we do? We have a few ideas but wanted to know how others would proceed. In the past there has been no bad feeling between us at all.


pinkspottywellies Fri 29-Aug-08 17:24:28

I'd be really upset that they've suddenly come up with this several months later and at main dealer prices. Is it a fairly new car? I bet they could have got it done for abobut £50 at a normal garage.

Having said that I don't know what you can say. Good luck with whatever you decide and I hope you don't end up falling out over it.

moopdaloop Fri 29-Aug-08 17:24:40

will your house insurance cover it? It does sound steep and you could possibly ask for a local garage estimate instead - I assume it's the dink because if it was just a scratch then t-cut would take it out

Milliways Fri 29-Aug-08 17:24:50

If it is small, try something like "Chipsaway" repairs. We have used them and the repair is invisible, and they can do minor dents.

kormachameleon Fri 29-Aug-08 17:25:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

moopdaloop Fri 29-Aug-08 17:25:48

oh I just saw it was several months ago, how can she prove this is the damage your child caused? Why leave it so long, I would say maximum 3 months to claim

SqueakyPop Fri 29-Aug-08 17:26:15

I think it is normal to get three estimates in these situations.

FAQ Fri 29-Aug-08 17:26:20

Not sure really - it could be that their car's warranty/whatever it is will be affected if they don't use "authorised" dealers/garage to get it done - hence the price being higher.

MatNanPlus Fri 29-Aug-08 17:27:01

Was the car on the public road?

I feel given it was months ago that they should have said they were taking it in for an estimate tho do think it is a bit suss them waiting so long.

Have you seen the estimate to check it is JUST for repair to the damage DS caused?

Also think the time frame is too small by next week maybe but not in 2 days over a weekend.

They aren't getting it done that quickly and might not get it done, i would only expect to pay upon reciept of the paid in full invoice and be given fair notice when said invoice would be presented to me.

Milliways Fri 29-Aug-08 17:27:14

We use this guy

tiggerlovestobounce Fri 29-Aug-08 17:28:33

I dont know if there is a lot you can do about it now. Reasonable to ask them to get at least one other quote though. That is a lot of money, and if they were paying it themselves I bet they would have shopped around.

Are you sure that it is just "your" dent they are asking you to pay for or have the garage quoted for the others too?

Jackstini Fri 29-Aug-08 17:28:59

Would not be impressed re the length of time they have taken but you did offer to pay so...
However - I would ask if you can get your own estimate (maybe use someone like Scratchmaster?) and ensure the quote is ONLY for the bit of damage ds caused.

kinki Fri 29-Aug-08 17:31:12

Thanks. Yes I'm thinking the quote covers the other damage as well, which isn't fair. I think it's come now because she had said she plans to sell it soon. Am also concerned that they'll pocket the cash and take it to somewhere cheaper.

We got some legal advice (from dh's company) who said that ds is legally responsible but he is too young to be sued. Therefore technically we don't have to pay.

They suggested a good will gesture though. We're thinking about £100.

What do you think?

FAQ Fri 29-Aug-08 17:31:27

I can see where people are coming from with getting quotes from local garages etc - but if their car is under warranty getting the work done could invalidate it for them.

We very nearly paid for some damage to ex-h's car at a local garage because of cost, but didn't in the end, and very glad we didn't as a few months after there was a problem with the car - which main dealer garage fixed for free - but had we got the cheaper work done we'd have had to pay over £500 to have the car fixed when it went wrong.

Saggarmakersbottomknocker Fri 29-Aug-08 17:32:21

This happen to ds2. We claimed on our house insurance (liability thingy). I would be unhappy though at the length of time it's taken before they claimed. As far as wanting the money at the weekend - I'd tell them tough! Cheeky sods.

If you have cover maybe call your insurers and ask them to deal direct with them.

pagwatch Fri 29-Aug-08 17:32:46

they should have spoken to you abouit getting the quote first and they shouldn't have waited so long.
Why don't you say that as it is so much money you are going to have to refer it to your insurers so could they give you copies of the invoice.
It will at least make them'out up or shut up'.
An invoice from the garage should itemise the work and confirm it has actually been done.
If they stall then you can offer them £100 which is the fictional excess on your fictional insurance.
At least you will know if they are trying it on.

kinki Fri 29-Aug-08 17:33:26

Yes, definitely ds's dink. Good idea about 3 quotes. Was also thinking about contacting the dealer to check it was just for that dink only.

SoupDragon Fri 29-Aug-08 17:35:57

Your son damaged their car.
You rightly offered to pay.
You did not put a time limit on your offer.
You should pay but ask for/get other quotes.

kinki Fri 29-Aug-08 17:37:08

Thanks all. The car was on their drive, maybe overhanging the pavement by a mm or 2.

Milliways, the dink looks like the 3rd one in the link you gave, with a little scratch.

Blu Fri 29-Aug-08 17:42:17

I agree with Soupdragon.

Not sure why the delay is an issue, really - the dink hasn't been getting worse in that time.

But fair enough to ask for competitive quotes or assurance that it has to be through main dealer.

pagwatch Fri 29-Aug-08 17:45:25

the delay would annoy me tbh but I think it is more relevent that they have delayed but now want money by the end of the weekend. It is either urgent or it isn't.
And the delay means they have had plenty of time in which to give OP a heads up and collect the money.

pagwatch Fri 29-Aug-08 17:46:06

I mean time for the op to get the money together IYSWIM

kinki Fri 29-Aug-08 17:46:54

exactly pagwatch. All spare monies have been spent in the holidays!

Blu Fri 29-Aug-08 17:47:54

Yes - I don't think the 'end of the weekend' deadline is reasonable.

kinki Fri 29-Aug-08 17:53:22

Have found a local repair-er like those linked to. These places reckon they are A LOT cheaper than main dealers. I think we'll ask the neighbour to get another quote and we'll arrange for this local one to quote too. Probably the fairest way forward is to pay them the most reasonable quote, and if they so chose they can then put that money towards the cost of the main dealer.

Is that fair enough? Thank you so much for your input everyone.

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