2013 Honda Civic: Real-World Damage

If you've been following Cars.com's long-term 2013 Honda Civic tester, you know it's been a fairly uneventful 15,000 miles with just ordinary maintenance and repair. Our streak of uneventfulness came to a crashing halt recently when the Civic was an innocent victim of a three-car collision.

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Cars.com Research Editor Mike Hanley walked out to a disintegrated driver's side taillight, crumpled rear fender and cracked bumper inflicted after a two-car collision at a nearby intersection spilled onto the street outside his home where the Civic was parked. While the damage initially didn't look bad, and the car was drivable, the repair estimate of more than $5,000 dropped a few jaws around the office.


Racking up most of the Civic's repair bill was having to cut the damaged fender from the car and weld in a new rear fender. The labor-intensive repair had the collision center cutting as far up as the pillar over the rear door to replace the rear driver's side quarter panel. Roughly a quarter of the Civic was repainted; the paint was blended halfway into the rear passenger door. Luckily, there was no frame or structural damage; Hanley noted the car's rear was shoved 5 to 6 inches after the hit.

Repairs that should have taken three to four weeks took almost six weeks because of the holidays and Chicago's subzero weather affecting the collision center's ability to get replacement parts. The extensive list of new items on the Civic includes a new fender, trunk lid, taillight, bumper and dozens of little items like moldings and plastic linings. The parts alone tallied to $2,297.51, while labor and paint were $3,160 — the grand total with tax was $5,721.37. Insurance, however, covered the repairs.


The Civic was returned in pristine condition (photos above) with one remaining ding: to the vehicle's history report. We have experience selling a vehicle that's been in an accident — our 2011 Chevrolet Volt — though we're curious how badly the seller-repellent "Accident reported" on the report affects a more mainstream car like the Civic. We'll know shortly because our time in the Civic is almost finished.

2013 Honda Civic Review

By Joe Bruzek | January 22, 2014 | Comments (8)


Insurance's role is to make you 'whole' again. Part of making you whole is to compensate you for your loss. A key component of a vehicle is its resale value. When their client damaged your car, they also damaged the resale value, and therefore I firmly believe insurance companies should provide compensation for loss of the resale value in addition to repairing the vehicle.

Joe Pine

Sky, Im a firm believer in that as well. Back in 2012, iI Purchased a brand new 13' Elantra, 6 days into owning it I was hit by and uninsured drunk driver. Luckily i was not at fault and my insurance covered the bill and the car was repaired correctly. When i asked about compensation for the resale value they told me since he was not insured they would not be covering it and i would have to take him personally to court. I figured getting blood from a stone was more difficult than dealing with the depleted resale value.


This is a joke, right? You guys are calling it a rear fender? Wow.

I am surprised it took so long to fix the car, even with the cold. Then again most body shops are very busy now due to the weather the Midwest and Northeast have been experiencing. It looks like they did a teffic job.


As long as it was properly repaired with OEM parts, depreciation shouldn't be an issue.

My Civic will also reach 15,000 miles within a month or two so I hope my car remains safe.


@Steve I disagree. All other things being equal (including price), if you were shopping this Civic with another that was similar, but one had been in an accident, which would you choose? If you're the one selling the repaired Civic, the main variable you can change to increase demand would be to lower your price. Hence, the impact to rescale value. Probably more of an issue when you're selling a year or two old car. I can say this from experience (my 2-year old Venza that I sold was hit from behind and suffered similar "minor" damage).


two things:
1) take a photo of the other side. I want to see how the panel lines compare.
2) Sky: how much do you want to pay for automobile insurance. Higher payouts = higher premiums.


Seriously? It's a Quarter Panel, not a rear fender. Being in the business you should know the terms.

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