The difference between mechanics and panel beaters

The difference between mechanics and panel beaters

Car mechanics vs. panel beaters

The difference and why it matters

The process of having your car fixed is rarely (or should we say ‘never’) an enjoyable experience, even if you have car insurance to cover all the costs. At most, it can be satisfying to know your car’s getting some TLC and will be returned in tip-top shape. But that’s not quite the same as ‘enjoyable’. So long as it gets done, that’s about all we really care about (that, and when the car will be returned).


In fact, our concern doesn’t even extend so far as to know who’s dealing with the repairs. It could be a mechanic, a magician, or a panel beater. All we know is that the car’s in ‘for repairs’. To shed light on the subject, we’ve nailed down the differences between the 2 main car repair services and who you should see for what.


The deal with car mechanics

Many South Africans first think of visiting a mechanic if something goes wrong with their cars, especially after an accident. And they may be right. You see, car mechanics deal with the inner workings of your car, like not starting or making funny noises. These experts evaluate all your car’s mechanical systems and repair them using various tools and equipment.


Issues mechanics resolve:

  • Engine noises and other strange sounds.
  • The replacement of parts, such as the clutch or gearbox.
  • Malfunctioning air systems.
  • Misfiring spark plugs.


The list is seemingly endless, but only relevant to a car mechanic if the car has internal issues. If the car has body damage, then a panel beater is what you’ll need.


The deal with panel beaters

Panel beaters have nothing to do with the fixing of the inner workings of your car. These chaps are all about your car’s exterior and will take on the responsibility of repairing and realigning damaged and dented panels of your car’s bodywork. Much like mechanics, panel beaters have special equipment and processes, and rely on tools like files and grinding equipment, dollies, gouges, keys, chisels and clamps, and electrical equipment among others.


Issues panel beaters resolve:

  • Removing or smoothing out bumps, dents, and general crinkles.
  • Replacing damaged body parts and welding replacements in their place.
  • Straightening bent frames.
  • Aligning damaged frames, body sections, and unit bodies.


Panel beaters are also responsible for the final assembly and inspection for true fit, and will test your car to ensure proper connection and working components in electrical fittings, door handles, locks and lights. That’s as close as they get to being mechanics. If there are issues with these components that aren’t related to panel beating, they’ll refer you to a mechanic.


So, which service do you need?

There’s nothing worse for your car than getting the wrong repair service to take responsibility for the repairs. A panel beater shouldn’t fix your fan belt and a mechanic shouldn’t realign your bumper. It’s absolutely not a case of letting just anyone screw and bolt together parts with any old tool. Not only can it lead to more issues down the road (literally), but it could endanger your life.


The best way to think of it is this way:

  • Internal problems = car mechanic.
  • External problems = panel beater.


Each is equipped with the right knowledge and expertise to restore your car to its perfect self. A commonality that these 2 services share, however, is the fact that they can present you with unexpected costs that might not be affordable. No matter how reasonable the cost may be, car repairs of any sort are unlikely to be the same as the price of a bottle of milk. And you don’t want to skimp on these kinds of repairs.


But if you have car insurance from an insurer with a reliable reputation for putting their clients’ wellbeing at the front and centre of all that they do, then everything becomes that much easier to budget for. Take King Price, for example. The royal insurer treats all their clients like kings and queens, only uses royally approved service providers, and offers logical car insurance that decreases every month. Which is the best way to prepare for unexpected situations, like needing to have your door panel replaced after a minor argument with a parking lot pole.


Take a few minutes to get a quote online or call 0860 50 50 50 and let King Price help you prepare for the unexpected.

Scratch and Dent Insurance

Scratch and Dent Insurance

Will scratch and dent insurance cover panelbeater costs?

Panelbeaters are the chaps you call when your car is looking a bit worse for wear, either from the daily grind or if you’ve had a prang. They’ve got nothing to do with fixing the mechanics of your car, but they will work on your car’s exterior to get it looking brand spanking new. Like it just came back from the factory… And who doesn’t like driving around in a car that looks as good as you feel? It’s even more amazing if you consider that by taking care of your car’s exterior, you’re increasing its resale value. People love buying cars that are free of dents and scratches. Go figure.

The thing is… You might not always have it in your monthly budget to repair scratches, remove dents, or sort out your wonky bumper. Life has gotten expensive and even though you want to smooth out the crinkles, you might not always have the means.

Thankfully, there’s a solution and it can cost you as little as R69 a month so that you can enjoy a scratch-free car without breaking your budget.

Scratch and dent insurance is the solution.

Going to a quality panelbeater won’t cost you a kidney, but it’s still an expense that you have to work into your monthly budget or save for. However, you can find a cost effective way to make sure these costs are handled for you, with scratch and dent insurance.

There are loads of options available on the market, but they all pretty much do the same thing in that they cover the cost of repairing scratches and dents. You’ll just have to check how many different types of damage are actually included. For instance, King Price’s scratch and dent insurance covers little chips, small dents, minor scratches, tar flecks, hail damage, and mag and rim repairs, which is a lot more than other policies.

Let’s talk price.

There are very few of us who can keep our cars in pristine condition for too long without a shopping mall parking pole denting the door, a stone nicking your bonnet, or tar flecks ruining your mags. And you shouldn’t have to wait until you can afford to visit your panelbeater.

The benefit of scratch and dent insurance is that if you can’t afford a couple of thousand, you could find it in the budget for under R100 per month… And then you don’t have to worry about the thousands. What a relief!

Sold on the idea? Before you buy the first policy you find, you need to factor in a few other numbers, including the excess, the limit per claim, and how many claims you can put in per year. King Price, for instance, charges R69 per month and a R250 excess every time you claim. They also set a R3,000 limit (per claim), and there’s an unlimited number of claims you can put in per year.

Those are some pretty impressive figures that you’ll be hard pressed to beat, and we’re experts when it comes to beating things.

A simple solution to delicate work.

You don’t want to skimp on costs when it comes to looking after your car’s exterior. Remember that resale value we spoke about? We’ve even gone over how to find a reputable panelbeater so that you never have to face a terrible (and terribly expensive) experience. In addition to finding the most affordable and trustworthy panelbeater, it’s also worth exploring a scratch and dent insurance that offers you value for money.

Take a few minutes to get a quote online or call 0860 50 50 50 and you’ll see just how affordable it can be to keep your baby looking good.

Car Insurance

Car Insurance

5 Things to look out for in a good panelbeater.


Without car insurance, a trip to the panelbeater can leave you with a pit in your stomach. You probably haven’t had a ton of accidents (well, we hope not!) and so you’re probably not well-versed with the costs involved, or which panelbeater to trust, or how long anything should take. And that’s kind of a good thing, until you actually need a panelbeater.

Obviously (or maybe not so obviously) the best-case scenario is 1 in which you have car insurance from a reputable insurer that only uses trusted suppliers and repairers to help get their clients back on the road ASAP. But what if you don’t have cover? Or what if the damage quoted by your insurer is almost the same amount as your excess so you choose not to claim but now have to find your own panelbeater to deal with the repairs?

You’d need to know a thing or 2 and these tips will help you find an honest, reliable, and cost-effective panelbeater.


#1 A rock solid reputation

You’re looking for a panelbeater that’s been active in the industry for several years, has a spotless reputation and a few certifications, and has a clean online presence that gives you info about their services upfront, or even a social profile where you can read customer reviews.

A panelbeater with a good rep will want to protect it, so a good rep is a good sign.


#2 Appearances matter a little

You wouldn’t be paranoid if you did a drive-by to see if the workshop has actual equipment (that isn’t from the dark ages), is reasonably tidy, and gives you the feeling that you’re dealing with professionals. That it’s not someone’s backyard, with a few skadonks parked on the lawn, and metal scraps lying around.

It isn’t even legal for a panelbeater to operate out of a residential area, so just don’t.

#3 Special cars need special skills

If you’ve got a classic, vintage, or in any way special, car then you need to make sure that your panelbeater can handle your baby’s special requirements. This usually includes having connections in the industry for specialised parts, special equipment, and hands-on expertise. To be honest, it wouldn’t be rude to ask to see some of the repairer’s previous work.


#4 It’s in the details (of the quote)

It’s no good getting a quote for the overall cost. What you want before any work is done is a breakdown of the cost, showing you in great detail what’s going to happen to your car. A good and reputable panelbeater should list the cost of the parts, labour, painting, and any other repairs that your baby needs.

You might even be able to suss out from the quotation how long the work will take to be completed. Actually, a good sign is a panelbeater who’s willing to talk openly and honestly with you about costs, timelines, quality, and any other concerns.

#5 Got any guarantees?

They say that there are no guarantees in this life. But that’s not the case when it comes to panelbeaters. What you’re on the lookout for is a panelbeater who’ll provide a guarantee of the parts they’ve sorted out for you, a warranty of those parts, and a guarantee on the workmanship.

This tells you that the business has your interests at heart and wants to protect their own reputation.


#6 Get insurance that only uses the best

It can be challenging to find a panelbeater that you can trust, but with these tips you’re sure to be much better off. Of course, if you have car insurance from an insurer with a reliable reputation for putting their clients’ wellbeing at the front and centre of all that they do, then everything becomes that much easier.

King Price, for example, makes no secret of the fact that they treat all their clients like royalty. The royal insurer also prides itself on using royally-approved service providers and offering sensible car insurance that decreases every month. Which is what you want when it comes to protecting your 4-wheeled baby.

Insurance fraud is a big deal

Insurance fraud is a big deal

Insurance fraud is a big deal


The consequences of lying to your insurer

Yup, you read that right. We’re going to dredge up the dreaded ‘F’ word. Fraud. This has become somewhat of a slippery slope lately. While fraud has been around for as long as insurance has been available, it used to be something that ‘scammers’ did to get a huge pay-out. You know, like filing a false claim to get the cash. Admittedly, it took a lot of effort to fool insurance inspectors and the like, but the pay-out was (and still is) deemed worth the trouble.

Now, though, more and more people are ’fessing up to the fact that they’d fudge the details even a little in order to make their insurance work for them… Little do they know that the consequences are just as serious as if you were to hide your car in your mate’s garage and claim for theft.

We’re going to unpack familiar fraud stories, explain the consequences of committing insurance fraud, and reveal how insurers figure fraud out.


Why more people are committing insurance fraud

You might be aware of the more obvious insurance scams. Like setting your house on fire and making it look like an accident so you can claim for the damage. But then there are more sophisticated fraudsters, like car owners who get the panelbeater to either add the excess amount to the bill or quote on more than the cost of the actual damages so they can pocket the cash together.

But professional scammers aren’t the chaps we want to talk about. We want to highlight the fact that more people are telling little white lies to their insurers to make sure their claims are approved. Like saying you were going 50km/h when you were really going 65km/h. Or telling your insurer and the inspector that all the windows in your house were shut and locked when you left home for a trip and came home to find your TV gone, but the back bathroom window was wide open.

Mostly, the reason why people lie about certain details is because of fear that their claim will be rejected. What they don’t realise is that if their insurer finds out about the lie, not only will their claim definitely be rejected, but they might also have their policy cancelled entirely.

Common arguments for why people lie to their insurers:

  • You’re paying for cover anyway, so it’s not like your pay-out is totally free.
  • It’s a small detail and shouldn’t matter to the incident.
  • You’re desperate, because without the insurance money, you’ll be financially stuck.
  • Without the insurance pay-out you won’t be able to pay for school fees, buy a new car, replace household valuables, etc.

What will happen if you get caught

Unfortunately, even if you only told a little fib to get your claim approved, all types of insurance fraud are treated quite seriously… No matter how harmless you thought the lie was.

The consequences of lying during a claim:

  1. The first thing that will happen is that your entire claim will be rejected.
  2. Next, your policy will most likely be cancelled retrospectively, from the date on which the incident was reported, or from the actual incident date (whichever date is earlier). And you’ll probably struggle to find insurance elsewhere.
  3. Lastly, there’s a good chance that you’ll be held legally accountable to pay your insurer back for any expenses that they’ve paid out or incurred while they processed your claim.

How fraudsters are caught

Now that insurance fraud has become a more serious problem in South Africa, many insurers have started investing in advanced forensic specialist security services to sniff out the scammers and avoid getting the wool pulled over their eyes.

Following the money patterns:

Insurance investigators perform a cross-check of the person claiming, looking for a pattern of pay-outs in their history and a pattern of claims being filed. They’ll pick up, for instance, if the claimant has received pay-outs under different names.

Suspicious loss indicators:

Insurance investigators also use a list of ‘suspicious loss indicators’ to work out if fraud is afoot, including checking if the receipts are legit, if you increased your cover level before claiming, or assessing whether you appear super calm after a fire wiped out your whole business.

A closer look at your life:

If things seem a little fishy to the investigator, they’ll take a deeper look into your life, starting with examining your credit record and criminal record, following you to see if injuries or damage matches the police report and claim info, and even going through your social media accounts.

The answer is to find a reputable insurer

If you get car and home insurance from an insurer that has a strong reputation for paying out claims, you’re less likely to feel anxious about claiming and therefore are less likely to lie during the claim process. King Price, for instance, is well-known in the industry for paying out claims and is frequently cited has having 1 of the lowest rejection rates. Moreover, they’re pretty good at explaining your policy to you (in plain English, which is helpful) so that all the right info is recorded and your cover is accurate. Their motto, incorrect details = incorrect cover, helps you maintain an honest approach to your insurance dealings.

Whether you’re looking for car and home insurance for the first time or want to switch for super cheap comprehensive cover, start your journey today by clicking here for an commitment-free quote.

The world’s worst roads to drive on

The world’s worst roads to drive on

The 5 worst countries to drive in

It might be a little scary to drive in a country that’s not your own. After all, there are different rules, signs, and regulations. Not to mention that you might not get to drive on the ‘right’ side of the road. Of course, there’s also the added fear that you could be driving in a country that’s earned a reputation for having treacherous roads. We’re talking worse than William Nicol at 5pm on a tense Friday.

International travel is meant to be relaxing, inspiring, and even exciting… But it can also be downright terrifying if you’re planning on renting a car to get around on your own. To help you plan your next trip a little better or for a safer driving experience, or to give you some interesting banter for your next dinner party we’ve listed the 5 worst countries to drive in.

Let’s start the countdown of the 5 worst countries to drive in, as per the statistics and information gathered by driving and navigation app, Waze.


#1: The Philippines

Yes, the Philippines has a lot to offer, from perfect beaches and exquisite diving opportunities to delicious cuisine. However, it’s ranked as 1 of the worst places to drive in. Specifically, Manila is the worst city in the world for overall traffic problems, including traffic jams, poor roads, lack of roadside service, and the severity of incidents.

#2: South America

According to the Waze Global Driver Satisfaction Index, El Salvador and its northern neighbour, Guatemala, ranked highest on the ‘Nope, not driving there’ list. Not wanting to be beat, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama also ranked in the top 10 worst countries to drive in. This is mostly attributed to problems with local authorities, general corruption, heavy congestion, and poorly maintained roads.

#3: South America (again!)

Down south of the North American border, there are 2 of the worst nations to drive in. Namely, Venezuela and Colombia. This makes Colombia not only 1 of the most dangerous nations in the world, but also 1 of the worst to drive in. And Venezuela? Well, according to the World Health Organization statistics for the amount of road deaths per 100,000 people, Venezuela ranks fourth due to its unmaintained roads, old and unreliable cars on the road, and reckless speeding.

#4: Indonesia

Urban Indonesia offers a gigantic challenge for drivers to navigate in the form of traffic and other motorists. Around 8 cities boasted poor driving experiences according to Waze, and this is mostly due to lack of clear traffic rules, heavy traffic, scooter drivers who don’t wear helmets, and a terrifying number of driving licenses being illegally bought instead of awarded.

#5: Romania

Across the whole of Europe, Romania ranks as the worst country for motoring tourists. This country boasts the highest road fatality rate in the European Union in 2017, with 98 deaths per 1 million inhabitants. That’s double the EU average of 49 deaths.


The answer is to find a reputable insurer

This info sort of makes you feel like our South African roads aren’t thaaaat bad. Although, obviously, they’re dangerous and we should all take care by driving safely and making sure that we can take fix up any bumps, scrapes, and other accidents with car insurance. Most insurers, like King Price, will not only cover you in South Africa, but they’ll also cover you in Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe. And, if you’re with King Price, that’s with super cheap premiums that decrease monthly (yes, it’s true, they actually reduce your premium).

Whether you’re looking for car insurance for the first time or wanting to switch for super cheap premiums, start your journey today by clicking here for a commitment-free quote.