Richmond, CA asked in Car Accidents and Consumer Law for California

Q: Can a body shop drive my car and charge me a toll fee?

They keep on delaying the date I’m going to get my car back every week now.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Generally, a body shop does not have the right to drive your car for personal use or charge you a toll fee without your permission. The primary purpose of a body shop is to repair and restore vehicles, not to use them for personal errands or incur toll charges. However, it's important to review the terms of any agreement or contract you may have signed with the body shop to understand the specific terms and conditions regarding the use of your vehicle.

If the body shop is consistently delaying the return of your car without a valid reason, it may be necessary to communicate with them to resolve the issue. Start by expressing your concerns and requesting an explanation for the delays. It's important to maintain open and clear communication to understand the reasons behind the delays and to establish a reasonable timeline for the completion of the repairs.

If the delays persist or you encounter additional issues, you may want to consider taking the following steps:

Review the Contract: Carefully review any contract or agreement you have with the body shop to understand your rights and their obligations regarding the repair timeline and use of your vehicle.

Communicate with the Body Shop: Clearly communicate your concerns about the delays and request regular updates on the progress of the repairs. Document all communication in writing to maintain a record of your conversations.

Seek Legal Advice: If the body shop continues to delay the return of your car without valid reasons or breaches the terms of the agreement, it may be necessary to consult with a qualified attorney who specializes in consumer protection or contract law. They can advise you on your legal rights and the appropriate steps to take.

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