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So I have had my 2020 GTI for all of about 5 weeks, when a drunk cyclist managed to run his bike pedal into my (parked car's) front bumper cover (gouging the bumper cover and breaking things like the plastic guard around it,) flip over my hood (scuffing it) and then destroy the taillight on the opposite side of the car parked in front of mine. I'm still not sure how he did it, and I'm awaiting the full police report to see if NYPD got his info (he was taken to the hospital after bleeding profusely on my hood.)

Obviously I want my car repaired as close to new as possible; my dealer has a collision shop and I'm wondering if I should go with them or with a collision shop. It's reasonable to demand OEM parts? I'm getting the insurance inspection Friday, but trying to figure out my plan once I get their estimate. Thanks for the advice!
 

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There is no reliable correlation between quality and whether a shop is independent or dealer-affiliated. Some of the worst repairs I have seen have been from dealership bodyshops. Many of the sticklers who want to fix your car 100% by-the-book work at independent shops.

You may want to consider going to a VW-certified shop, whether it be a dealership shop or an independent. These shops are audited for repair quality, training requirements, tool requirements, et cetera.

Then there’s the whole other question: do you go to a shop that’s part of your insurance company’s direct repair program, or not? If you go to the recommended shop, your insurance company will probably give you a lifetime warranty on the repair. The car should get fixed faster. But the insurance company exercises a lot more control over their “partner” shops, which allows them to better dictate to the shop exactly how your car will be fixed.
 

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Somebody keyed my driver's door and then backed into my bumper on my $71k Volkswagen. I called my buddy and he said to take it to this very well known area body shop. I took it to the dealer for my first quote. Turns out, my Volkswagen dealer doesn't do their own body work and they use the high end body shop my buddy told me to go through. The advantage of the Volkswagen dealer is he gives me a price, I schedule the time, bring the car back to the dealer, he handles all the messy stuff and I drive away in a rental car.
 

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My experience

My dealership opened a collision shop for all the brands they sell. I had an Audi with a ding in the door, simply one of those dings that we all get in parking lots. I decided they would be the best place to get it fixed and rolled in. It took nearly 45 minutes for them to come up with an estimate for $900, which involved repainting the whole door (which I wouldn't have had done for this repair, no matter what the cost). I thanked them and drove a few blocks to the paintless dent repair, and 20 minutes later (less than the time it took the dealer to create my estimate) was out the door for $80 and I cannot even find where the ding was. I too, wanted the best repair possible, but it's not always clear that the dealer is the best choice.
 
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