Unless you score a nice rental car through the claims process, there's a good chance you'll want to get your car back from an auto collision repair shop ASAP. You naturally will want to know how long this is going to take. Several factors affect how long a shop might need to fix a vehicle, but these four are usually the big ones.
The age of a car can make it significantly harder to find replacement parts for a car. If an automotive collision repair professional has to find parts for a 1930s Packard, that is a completely different challenge versus repairing a 2010s Toyota Camry.
Notably, the shop may not be able to find OEM replacement parts. In extreme cases, even junkyards might not be able to replace the components with used stock. Some older cars require the fabrication of replacement parts, and the companies that make those can be backlogged for weeks or even months. On the other hand, an auto parts supplier might get the parts for a 10-year-old pickup truck to the shop the next day.
Generally, replacing parts for imported vehicles is harder. The manufacturing centers are often further away, especially if the company has no facilities in North America. Replacement parts for vehicles of foreign origin can take weeks to arrive even if the car is widely sold in the U.S. Conversely, many North American vehicles have parts sitting right on the shelf of your local auto parts store.
One of the biggest reasons auto collision repair is a good business is that paint matching is difficult. Some vehicles have complex paint jobs that require several applications of base paint, fleck materials, and even pearlescent layers. If you don't match these correctly, the paint job will look off when you compare one panel to another. Paint technicians maintain impeccable conditions, and they have to let the layers set up in many cases. Compared to a simpler paint job, this can add several days to the auto collision repair process.
Also, unusual paints can present problems. If a technician has to take samples and mix several batches, that adds time to the process.
Suppose your car has the simplest white paint and uses a basic clearcoat. Those materials still need time to cure so they won't be tacky and collect dust and dead bugs while you're driving.
Finally, the nature of the damage affects the timeline. Sometimes a technician can pop a dent out. In other cases, they may have to replace several panels.
For more information on auto collision repair, contact a professional near you.