I have been in an accident with someone where I need to replace a panel on his van. I was the driver at fault. He has given me a quote from his panel beaters which i found to be too expensive, so I went and found a better quote from a panel beater in my area that I trust. However, the van owner is adamant on using his repairer and refuses to use mine. My repairer told me by law, it's my choice who does the repair since I am the one paying for it. I would just like to confirm in writing if possible whether or not this is true
Hi there. The owner of the damaged vehicle must show that their repair quote is fair and reasonable. To do this, the owner should obtain at least two quotes and use the cheapest quote.
If you, as the driver responsible for paying for the repairs, believe the owner’s quote is not fair and reasonable, you can obtain your own quotes. Again, it is best practice to obtain more than one quote and provide copies to the vehicle owner.
If you cannot reach an agreement with the owner, you can pay them the value of the cheapest quote, provided the quote is objectively reasonable. The owner can then use the money to organise the repairs at their own convenience. If you choose to pay them out, there is a possibility that the owner may seek to claim any shortfall in value from you (i.e. the difference between the amount you paid them and their original quote). They would need to commence formal legal proceedings in court to recover this money.
You should try to negotiate an agreement with the vehicle owner, reminding them that the law requires their quote to be fair and reasonable. You can use the services of your local Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (www.disputes.vic.gov.au), which offers mediation and dispute resolution advice.
Suggested way forward
You should try to negotiate an outcome with the other party. If this is unsuccessful or if the matter escalates, you may want to speak to a lawyer about your rights and options. By pressing the “Consult a Lawyer” button, LawAdvisor can help you search for experienced lawyers and obtain fee proposals for their services. Costs for legal advice and representation will vary between providers based on experience and the scope of services.