So, why do car warranties not cover bodywork? The principle reason is that chips, dents and scratches are all deemed to be ‘wear and tear’ that might happen to your car in the everyday act of driving. Even with a new car, a manufacturer’s warranty will typically exclude bodywork.
What bodywork are we talking about?
Bodywork experts take a holistic look at the whole of the vehicle to ensure that any repairs take account of the structure of the whole car. If, for instance, you take your car to the body shop for a dent in the front bumper, a bodywork technician will not simply fix the visible damage, they will also assess if any other unseen damage has happened to the opposite side of the bumper and will check the overall alignment of the vehicle.
Bodywork affects the whole vehicle. It is partly about the aesthetics of the car – if for instance, you need to get the colour resprayed or a scratch fixed – but it is also about the structural integrity of the vehicle, such as if you have to get a side panel replaced after a collision.
So, people take their cars to bodywork experts to have dents repaired, to get their doors, bumpers, bonnets and boots replaced, and to have their paintwork corrected. If a car has been in an accident, it may need some specialist work on the frame, including laser straightening or welding.
These repairs may be covered by your car insurance, but given that they are not faults with the car itself that existed when the car was sold to you, they are not covered under warranty.
How to avoid visits to the body shop
It is inevitable that sometimes dents and scratches happen, even if you’re a very careful driver. You can reduce the need to visit the body shop, however, by taking care to avoid uneven surfaces, potholes, or kerbs. Adding protective covers to your bumpers might also help.
By regularly washing your vehicle inside and out, you remove the buildup of grit that can cause scratches. Regular maintenance helps to avoid buildup of rust, and it means that if you do find any deterioration, you can get it fixed sooner rather than later.
Small scratches and blemishes are also problems that you might be able to fix yourself. To match your car paint colour, find the colour code on the jamb of the door and purchase the right tone of touch-up paint. Then, using 2,000 grit sandpaper and soapy water, you can remove the blemish. Use the touch-up paint to cover the area, then finish with wax polish.
Don’t ignore scratches and dents
If you notice scratches to the paintwork or small dents in the bodywork, it can be tempting to ignore them. However, it’s important to get them addressed quickly as any exposed metal is vulnerable to rust. Paying for a minor fix now may save you more significant repair bills further down the line.
Also, bear in mind that your car can fail its MOT as a result of certain kinds of bodywork damage. During the assessment, your vehicle will be inspected to ensure it’s free from sharp edges that are likely to cause injury and free from excessive damage or corrosion in specific areas.
If you have any questions about why bodywork isn’t included in car warranties, or queries about other related topics, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today.