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Slow panel beater, options needed

By ThatUniStudent 7 January 2012 5

A month ago I took my  campervan to a panel beater to get some rust repairs done prior to getting it road worthied. I plan to sell it as soon as possible. The panel beater though still has not even started work on the rust repairs. He has twice promised he’d have the work done, and twice I’ve rang only to find he’s not even started the work. Now he’s had ample time to do the work, over a month now.

I’m in a bit of a catch 22 situation over this. Without the rust repairs, the campervan is not really road worthy. This panel beater is the closest one to my regular mechanic, so legally I can drive the campervan directly from them to my mechanic once the rust has been repaired in order to get the road worthy inspection done. But I can’t drive it somewhere else, I’d have to have it towed. So to go to another panel beater, it would have to be towed.  I’d then have to get it towed to my mechanic for the roadworthy, or drive it directly from the next panel beater to the nearest road worthy place to them for the roadworthy inspection.

In the mean time, I have had two potential buyers for the campervan say they didn’t want to buy because it wasn’t roadworthy, which is understandable. Also, things like the deep cycle batteries which were brand new when I brought them months ago are eating into their warranty time.

So, do I maintain the patience and hope that he’ll start work, which I think just isn’t going to happen. Or do I get it towed and get the work done elsewhere? Has anyone faced a similar situation to this? Can I go to small claims and get the panel beater to pay for the towing to another panel beater? Anyone know of options? Also, anyone know of a good panel beater / rust repairer they can recommend who does the job on time?

As background info, the panel beater is in the ACT, but the campervan will be NSW registered. It is also pretty expensive, at about $32,000 with new deep cycle batteries,  stove, sink, hot water service, and toilet as well as other items like solar panels, alarm / immobiliser, vehicle tracking and so on. So it is not like I can afford to have it sitting idle.

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5 Responses to
Slow panel beater, options needed
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Henry82 5:41 pm 07 Jan 12

>Unregistered light vehicles can be driven in NSW for the purpose of obtaining registration by the most direct or convenient route: To the nearest convenient motor registry, To the nearest convenient vehicle inspection station etc etc

>You must not drive an unregistered vehicle on the road unless you have an unregistered vehicle permit (UVP)

So book the smash repairer, get the UVP, drive van to smash repairer, once its done, re-check the UVP is valid (might have to get another one), drive it across the border to a booked appointment at the RTA?

Just make sure in NSW you have an appointment, from the police tv shows “i’m just about to take it to get it registered” seems to be a common excuse.

LSWCHP 4:45 pm 07 Jan 12

Based on past experience, Quickeze towing will tow a broken down sedan to Fyshwick for about $80, and will show up an hour or so after you call in the job.

I have no association with this company, I’ve just used their services a few times in the last 20 years or so, and they do a good job for not much money.

screaming banshee 2:02 pm 07 Jan 12

Pretty sure your mechanic can legally drive the car where it needs to go, perhaps ask if they know someone that can do the work and drive it there. Otherwise a tow doesn’t really cost that much, especially if you let them do it when it suits them rather than booking a specific time.

Grrrr 1:08 pm 07 Jan 12

Take it elsewhere.

Three ways to do it: One, just drive it. If it’s registered and the rust is the only thing unroadworthy about it, you are unlikely to get caught and have a reasonable chance of being able to talk your way out of a fine.

Two, get a permit to move it (as mentioned.)

Three, find a panelbeaters that has a trailer and will collect it for you. The last panelbeaters I used (also very slow) were able to shift cars on their trailer/truck.

Bear this in mind: The van is effectively costing you at least $400/month, and that’s just from depreciation and interest on the sale price alone. Never mind rego, insurance, etc. If it costs you $200 to get it towed and repaired a fortnight earlier, that’s money well spent.

Felix the Cat 11:49 am 07 Jan 12

Time wise you would lose, even if you could take the panelbeater to court, which I very much doubt anyway. It would take months to go through the processes.

99% of most panelbeaters’work comes through insurance companies. For some reason, even though they complain that the insurance companies are screwing them over with pricing and it takes them months to get paid, they still seem to prefer to do insurance work rather than private jobs like yours.

There are dozens of panel beaters in Canberra (especially Fyshwick), ring around and find another one that can give you a more definite time frame. Obviously they won’t be able to quote you a price without seeing the vehicle but they should be close in price to the original guy who’s now jerking you around.

Take into account to that it’s Christmas/New Year period so the shop has lost a few working days due to public holidays and is probably short staffed with workers on leave. Plus just because it’s Christmas/New Year period doesn’t mean Canberran’s are crashing their cars any less, probably the opposite as a lot of them have been running around like headless chooks rushing to pick up last minute gifts and travelling to visit friends and relatives so are on the road more and doing more kms than usual and paying less attention to actually driving.

Not sure about NSW rego but with ACT you can get a temporary permit to drive your vehicle for a day or a week for the purpose of taking it to workshops for repair, even if it isn’t roadworthy. I imagine NSW would have a similar system. ACT temporary rego only allows vehicle to be driven in ACT though.

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