Between attending Christmas functions and getting all the present shopping done, you may have noticed you spend a lot more time in your car this time of year. This extra time out on the road also increases your chances of having an accident. Whether it is a minor ding in a car park, or a bigger fender-bender out on the roads, the last thing you need right now is for your car to be out of action. It is tempting to try and save money by repairing dented panels yourself, but an alarming rise in chop-shop activity means you could be buying stolen parts without even realizing it.
Gold Coast Car Thefts
Southport on the Gold Coast topped this area's stolen cars list with 104 taken in a 12 month period. Many cars are then stripped down and ripped apart, with the panels, motors, and other parts being sold on to unsuspecting consumers.
The average Joe who thinks that do-it-yourself panel beating is a good way to save some money at this expensive time of year will turn to online trading websites and buy these parts not even considering they may be from stolen vehicles. Because car panels are not marked with identification numbers, it is difficult to know which parts are legitimately being sold, and which ones comes from stolen vehicles.
Avoiding Stolen Car Panels
There are two main ways you can avoid stolen panels ending up on your car if you have an accident during the holiday season:
- Only buy car panels from a legitimate, authorised dealer. Compared to buying second-hand parts through an online website, this is not the cheapest option, but it considerably reduces the risk of purchasing a product that has come from a stripped down car.
- Take your car to a panel beater and let them source the parts. Reputable panel beaters only use legitimate parts they have purchased from aboveboard sources, so you do not need to be concerned you are unwittingly helping the chop shop community.
While it is understandable you want to save money at this time of year, taking care of your own car repairs is not always the best way to cut costs. Instead, take it to a panel beater you can trust so you can feel confident about having legitimate car parts on your vehicle, and you will be back on the road faster than you can say 'Merry Christmas.'