Get into a bit of a fender bender? Getting your car fixed faster is almost always better; you might not even know the real extent of the damage until you bring it into the shop. Still, auto body repairs can be very expensive, especially if you need to get your car painted.

Here are a few ways that you can save money without going through your insurance, which can be a costly proposition in itself:

Order the Parts Yourself

Get the part number from your auto body shop and shop around for it. Many shops can even tell you where to order from. After market parts can be rather cheap; some auto body shops might not have it in stock at the time simply because it's an obscure part and not worth stocking.

If you order it from the manufacturer you will likely need to wait a while, but you'll still be able to get it at a cheaper rate. 

Make Sure You're at the Right Type of Shop

Most auto repair places fall into one of two categories: mechanics and auto body shops. While a mechanic will occasionally take auto body labor (and the opposite is also true), the prices are usually inflated because they often need to bring in a contractor or they might not have the equipment necessary at hand. Some shops are full service shops that perform both, but in general you will save money by going to a specialized service. 

Skip the Painting

Do you have major damage on your car that somehow, miraculously, did not actually scrape or otherwise damage your paint job? Find an auto body shop that can complete what is known as a "paintless dent repair." Not all shops can do this.

A paintless dent repair is a special way of resolving a dent so that the paint is not removed from the surface; you'll skip the painting and save a lot of money. You can also save money by asking your body shop to do a "fade."

A fade uses one of their standard colors that is close to the color of your car for the repairs, blending into it, rather than having to purchase the actual color from your car's manufacturer.

While it may save you money, one thing you don't want to do is purchase a kit to try to fix the problem yourself. Auto body damage can seem merely cosmetic, but it's really not -- once the paint has been scraped or chipped, the body of your vehicle could rust or wear, eventually causing rather serious issues. Many kits may not entirely cover your damage, resulting in more problems over time.

To learn more, contact a company like Stone Bros Auto Body Ltd. with any questions or concerns you have.