Car owners maintain rather than replace

Carlos Barboza
Carlos Barboza
Jerry Rabago
Jerry Rabago

By Kristine Uyeno - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- During these tough times, many people are closely watching their expenses.

They're choosing to hold onto what they have and for some companies, that's a good thing.

Carlos Barboza takes good care of his truck. So when he sees an imperfection, he fixes it at Dent Doctors Hawaii. It's not the first time he's been here.

Today's estimate to fix his fender and replace his bumper? A thousand dollars and done in one day. A lot cheaper than buying a new vehicle.

"My truck is in really good shape and the prices today are still a little bit too high y'know?" said Barboza, truck owner.

He's the kind of customer, that's helping this company, during these tough times.

"We're feeling an influx of business from car owners that might normally be buying new cars," said Jerry Rabago, owner of Dent Doctors Hawaii.

That decision is boosting revenue for body and paint repair shops.

"We're hearing more and more, I'd say 10%-15% of that clientele choosing to, rather than buying a new car, choosing to hold onto what they have and put a little more money into it," said Rabago.

Rabago has operated this business, which removes dents and dings without repainting, for a dozen years. He has never seen the economy this bad. But for him, there's a silver lining: people who choose to maintain, rather than replace, driving more business into his shop.