After having an accident and looking at what has happened to your vehicle, “how long will I need a rental car during repairs?” is probably the last question to cross your mind. However, it’s not one you should ignore, because you may have less time than you would originally assume. Over the years, auto body shops and insurance companies have tracked various instances to see how long repairs take, what the average costs are, and how long the length of rental (LOR) should be for customers.
Luckily, the usual length of rental has increased. Now, the average time span is just shy of 2 weeks. You may wonder, “Why would I need a rental car for so long?”
The answer is that modern technology has made repairs and re-calibration a little more difficult than it used to be, so insurance companies have had to adjust the LOR. This is good news for you, in most cases.
That brings us to the next question: “How long will I need a rental car while mine is being repaired?” Keep reading to find out.
Average Duration of Car Repairs
In the auto body repair business, we call the time it takes to repair your vehicle the “cycle time.” In most cases, the average cycle time for repairs is as follows:
- Bumper Repair or Replacement: 1 day
- Windshield Replacement: 1 day
- Paint Repair: 1-2 days
- Minor Body Work: 1-2 days
- Internal Parts Replacement: 1-2 weeks
- Extensive Damage Repairs: At least a month (30 days)
While these are estimations, this is the time frame you can anticipate when getting collision repairs done on your vehicle.
Getting a Rental From The Insurance Company
After your car has sustained damages from an accident and was not deemed totaled by the insurance company, it is time to get it into the body shop. While it is probably a relief to have your car in the shop for repairs and replacements, it also means you have to worry about finding another mode of transportation. Your insurance policy or the responsible party’s insurance may offer you a rental vehicle.
As mentioned earlier, most policies will provide a rental car for up to 12 days.
This is not based on cycle time. Rather, the length of rental includes the “claim frequency,” or the period of time it takes for adjusters to see the damages and provide you with an estimation of what will be covered.
Factors That Influence the Length of Rental
Does that mean you will have a rental vehicle for 12 days? No. That is not guaranteed. You see, there are a couple of things to consider. First is the pressure on the auto body repair shops from the insurance company. In the spirit of saving time, some mechanics will perform a rush job to appease the insurer, who is urging them to return your vehicle as soon as possible, to save you from inconvenience.
Of course, the insurance company is also spending money on that rental car you are driving around. Since they want to save money, getting you your vehicle back sooner than later is best for everyone involved—except the mechanic.
Although not every auto body shop is going to cut corners, this need for quick work sometimes forces mechanics to use less-than-ideal options for replacing parts. Sometimes, they cannot get Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts and must use generic options. Or, they make mistakes.
The second factor in the length of rental equation is whether the mechanic follows OEM guidelines or not. Every manufacturer has OEM parts for your specific make, model, and year. Further, most modern cars, SUVs, and trucks have something called ADAS, such as blind-spot protection, collision warnings, and lane departure warnings. ADAS can be challenging to repair and install, and that increases the length of repair time.
Next is that “claim frequency” we’d mentioned earlier. Insurance adjusters may have to return to the repair shop several times to adjust the amount the insurer will cover. Sometimes, there is resistance from the insurance company about what they will pay for, and that can lengthen the overall time of repairs—as well as the LOR.
If you need extensive repairs and OEM parts, you may have that rental car for longer than 12 days.
Looking For Someone To Repair Your Car?
It is frustrating to be without your vehicle after an accident. Even if you are given a rental, you don’t know how long insurance will cover the cost of it. The good news is that you usually have 12 days in the beginning, but that length of rental may increase depending on what repairs are needed.
Working with professionals is one way to get your car back sooner—and you will never have to worry about cut corners. Elmer’s Auto Body has a team committed to working with you and the insurer to make sure you get top-quality repairs and replacements for your vehicle. You will be back on the road, in your own car, in no time.
Tell us what you need by filling out the contact form below or give us a call! We look forward to hearing from you.