How long do car repairs take after an accident?

How long car repairs take after an accident depends on many factors. On average, a car repair process takes 2-5 days, but it can take up to several months.

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UPDATED: May 22, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: May 22, 2022Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know...

  • Many factors go into the length of time you can expect your car to be repaired
  • Foreign or specialty cars may take longer because parts are harder to find
  • The extent of your damage will impact how long it takes for your car to be fixed
  • If your mechanic is taking an unreasonable amount of time, you should contact your insurer and look into getting your vehicle taken to a different garage

If you’re wondering how long a car will take to repair after an accident, it will depend on the situation. Cars that have been damaged in accidents can be repaired in less than a few days (2-5 on average), but sometimes it can take as long as several months. Car repair time estimates are exactly that, just estimates.

Some of the factors that have to be considered include:

  • The length of time that it takes your car insurance provider to process and approve your claim and locate a repair shop
  • The number of cars waiting to be repaired
  • The extent of the damage done to your vehicle
  • The type of car you have – if you own a foreign import, sports car, or another type of specialty vehicle, it may take a while before the auto repair shop is able to receive the replacement parts needed to make the repairs.

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How can you estimate how long it will take for your repairs to be made?

How do you get your car fixed after an accident? There are plenty of drivers out there who pace back and forth, asking, “How long will it take to repair my car?” If you have already submitted your claim to your auto insurance provider, you will need to wait a few days until a decision is made.

Some policyholders will know nearly instantly if they will be able to get their repairs made.

After you know where your car will be repaired and the type of repair that will be made, you can start to estimate how long it will take in total. You can call the mechanic or your insurance agent to find more information on the status of your repairs.

Remember that an estimate is just that. Your car may end up being repaired much more quickly than first expected, but you should also be prepared to wait longer.

Car accident repairs can vary from minor to extreme. Below is a table that shows a few examples of car crash repairs and the time it takes to make those repairs.

Car Repair Estimated Times
Type of DamageTimeline
Windshield replacementOne day
Minor auto body workOne to two days
Bumper repair/replacementOne day
Replacement of internal elementsOne to two weeks
Extensive damage to multiple partsOver a month
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As you can see, accident repairs will take much longer to fix than if your windshield gets a crack.

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What are some factors that might delay getting your car repaired?

Sometimes a policyholder will go to pick up his or her car on the day that it is expected to be repaired, only to find out that there has been a delay.

There are many different circumstances that can delay your repairs:

  • If a mechanic has called out sick, has a family emergency, or simply needs more time to finish the jobs on hand, you will have no choice but to wait
  • Your repair might also take longer if the mechanic discovered additional repairs that need to be made
  • If your insurance provider is unable to pay the mechanic on time, your car might be kept as collateral until the check arrives

Whatever the reason for the delay, there is almost always a reasonable solution. By staying in contact with both your insurance provider and the repair shop, you should be able to anticipate these types of delays and act accordingly.

What do you do if you’re not satisfied with the repair and length of time?

How long is reasonable for a car repair? Although it is understandable when a mechanic needs a few more days to get your car repaired, sometimes car owners experience unreasonable wait times.

If you can’t get in contact with the mechanic responsible for making the repairs or if you are not able to get clear answers to your questions, you will want to talk to your insurance provider.

If your car insurance repair is taking too long, your car may need to be towed or driven to a different mechanic in these cases. If you truly believe that the repair shop will not be able to fix your car in a professional manner, you need to inform your insurance provider at once.

You might also be able to expedite your repairs if you are able to locate a replacement part that is on backorder. This is something that you want to check into early on in the repair process.

You can ask your insurance agent about being reimbursed for the parts that you are planning on purchasing, but this may or may not be possible.

In order to get your car back in good working order, you must understand that the repair process can sometimes take much longer than first anticipated.

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Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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