What're your first dent thoughts for a daily driver ("freeing" vs. unpleasant)

I got my first door ding on the Camry the other night - a decent-sized one that two PDR estimates I got today put at around $150 to fix, or $300 in total with the two other more minor blemishes on the car that were less bothersome but that I'd probably fix at the same time). I'd say I go to some trouble to avoid dings and dents, not taking tight parking spots and the like.

I'm trying to decide whether to leave it alone ("it's a daily driver, and subsequent dings will be less unpleasant") or to fix it ("keep it in good shape since you're going to have the car for a while"). I plan to keep it for 5-7 years more or so, and my philosophy seems to suggest that keeping it in better shape will delay the next car shopping trip, but that's not for sure by any means.

Despite being a 10-year-old Toyota that's a daily, it's quite clean (a solid 8.5/10 in terms of condition, I'd say), and I try and keep it clean and in good shape. I have no delusions about its conditions or value - it's not mint or anything, and a very pedestrian make and model, but it's in very good shape for its age - no rust/scrapes, no warning lights, new tires, clean interior, good mechanical shape, etc. Its current value sits around $10-11k.

What's your philosophy - save the money or just eat the cost and fix it so I don't have to think of it any more? Thoughts?
As long as the paint isnt broken and it wouldnt cause rust, just let it ride. My Accord has a few minor dings in it and I dont worry about it. Its a car, its going to get scratches and dings if you drive it every day. It wasnt perfect the day that it rolled off of the assembly line, so just drive it, enjoy it and dont worry about it.
A found a dent in my “new to me” 2016 Avalon last Christmas (thank you Santa). At that point I had only owned it for six months and the car had 60,000 miles or so on it. Decided to get it fixed - it was only a 2-3 inch dent that was probably caused by a shopping carriage - that little 2-3 inch dent cost me $700 bucks.

Let’s just say that the next “little dent” will become part of the character of the car, plus it now has 92,000 miles on it. But I’m glad I did get that first dent taken care of (believe it or not) because I wanted to keep the vehicle as pristine as I possible could, and I did, and I still will...except I can’t ”possibly” spend $600 bucks for every little ding. So, in my mind the next ding will get a nice coat of wax over it. And I’m sure they’ll be more.
If you had posted this in the detail/wax section, you might have attracted the more OCD side of BITOG and received more recommendations to get the dents fixed via PDR. I sometimes comment about the evils of letting ones material possessions command your life (been there, done that, attempt to manage it). Some people spends thousands on vinyl wraps, bras, ceramic coatings, weekly washing, etc.. I attempt to practice moderation.

If your penchant runs towards uneasiness if everything in your life is not absolute perfect, then it might be good to relax ones standards on a 10 year old car. If you tend to practice moderation, then maybe getting the PDR done is the better choice. You indicate you wish to keep the car another 5 - 7 years. $300 over 5-7 years is not unreasonable, especially if you consider this as discretionary expenditures (i.e., give up Starbucks/eating out for a few months if needed). Heck, people spend hundreds golfing, at the gym, etc. for enjoyment. If having the dents repaired gives you satisfaction and enjoyment for the next 7 years, then do as you please and forget our opinions! It sounds like it is a decent car worth keeping up.

I hope this makes sense - my two views of the situation. I've had 3 pdr repairs on my 9 year old lowly Patriot and have zero regrets. I also spend $120 yearly for Krown rust proofing with no regrets (most rust free vehicle I've owned in 5 decades). It's our one and only vehicle.
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I've got so many scratches, dents and dings in my 2009 Buick now - Mostly from my cousins son which I know were intentional as he's a kid with a severe case of ADHD whose parents don't believe in medication - that I've just said f**k it. Eventually I'll save up enough money to get everything repainted and the dings and dents corrected but right now I'm just covering it up by keeping it as shiny as possible.

It was in immaculate condition before my cousin got a hold of it and his son went to town on it.
Dont the parents watch this kid?
Maybe take a claw hammer to their house and car and see if they figure out that you dont deserve damage.
Saw a porsche 911 ad on the porsche club site. Guy said he has a deep 2.5 foot scratch on it but will discount the car 150 bucks because of that. I would love to scratch up his next car and say heres your 150 bucks dude.
It tells me I dont want any part of any car that guy sells
Don't have any on my Lucerne yet but the day will come and I won't be fixing it. My attitude towards vehicles has changed over the years, sure I want the nicest looking car I can have but it's just transportation to me.
I tend to keep my cars over 10 years. Many people then stop washing/vacuming it and before you know it lose interest and then want a new one. I would fix as it seems to bother you and $300 isnt outrageous to make it acceptable. We currently have a 2008 Jetta with 170k on it and still looks good. I try to park away from the crowd to try to avoid this issue. My last car I traded was 12 years old and 150k miles and a neighbor thought it was a new car
The fact that you got PDR estimates tells you what you're asking us to tell you. $300 for 3 repairs certainly isn't a bad price.

At 6 months old I put a decent ding in the tailgate of the '21 GMC. Set a drill battery on the bumper, forgot, then opened the tailgate. I got it fixed and because it's an aluminum tailgate and it was on a body line it was $200.
My first dent on the 2013 Mazda 6 in the signature was the first day after buying it... the inaugural drive with the new car.
Went to see my daughter's softball game.
Knowing this is a ballgame, I park at the very back of the lot which is very far away from the BACK of the actual field. Lucky for me, the wind was also towards the field, so the wind was in my favor.
The game goes on until this 6-foot, roided {I argue, anyway} Amazonian takes the plate.
Bam! First pitch is banged into the air.
At that moment, I was surprised that I could calculate physics as quickly as I did. Yep. Right at the car.
It hit at the spot in the pic. Lucky it wasn't glass, a light, or a wider panel. Just a thumb-sized compression in possibly the most sturdy part of the body metal.


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Just last week our 11 year old, 105,000 mile BMW E90 got a big honking dent while parked at Trader Joe's. I remember thinking when I pulled in the spot looked kind of iffy. I got it fixed by the local paintless dent guy and you'd never know anything happened. He charged me $100 but I gave him $140 because I was so pleased with his work.

For the record, the only dents I like are the dents, er, ah, dimples on a woman's lower back!