What is “Clipping”?

Clipping is a repair technique that some repairers utilize, and are encouraged to utilize by insurance companies in order to save on repair costs.

Clipping involves cutting the damaged portion off of a car (often the entire front or rear end of the vehicle) and welding a corresponding assembly obtained from a salvage yard on to it. As defined by the Collision Industry Conference, “CLIP: A group of related vehicle parts purchased from a salvage yard as an assembly (usually the complete front or complete rear section of a vehicle). Also known as Salvage Clip.”

This procedure actually entails cutting through the vehicle’s unibody or frame and affects its structural integrity. Auto manufacturers are also opposed to clipping and do not suggest that such a repair is ever appropriate on their vehicles. Yet, because there are no uniform methods and standards in the industry, you just might be riding around in one of these “Frankenstein” vehicles.

Sound ridiculous? Unsafe? Well, cars are “clipped” every day. And in the vast majority of states, the practice is not illegal.

And the insurers’ attitudes about practices like these? “No one says we can’t do it, and if it’s going to save us a buck, we’re going to do it.” or “We don’t repair cars, we just pay to have cars repaired.” – even though insurers dictate how vehicles are to be repaired to collision repair shops every day of the week.

More on Clipping

Is your car a ‘clip job’?

Clipping NOT Recommended by Ford

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Repairers Say Insurers, Not Consumers, Benefit from Full-Body Sectioning