I’ve always grumbled that modern cars, under the pretext of offering better occupant safety (pedestrian safety is also a key cause) through the absorbing or the diverting of the impact energy in real crashes, have the front and rear bumpers designed in such a manner that they’re unable to protect more expensive parts, so that any minor driving error leading to a 5…10 km/h impact with an obstacle would incur major expenses for the owner — or for the insurer.
Years ago, I watched an American documentary about this issue (a comparative of the expenses caused by the impact with a street bollard, for cars of different makes and models), but I wasn’t able to identify it or a recording of it.
Thankfully, the Aussies have conducted a similar test last year — Written off in 10km/h crash. Here you have the costs (parts and labor) after such a “minor bumper-to-bumper bingle” at 10 km/h:
It’s worth noting that these cars offer a good crash protection in the official tests. E.g. Honda Jazz and Toyota Yaris have 5-star EuroNCAP certifications, yet bumping them at 10 km/h costs AUD 6-7k only for the front side (or only for the back side) — 1 AUD is about 0.90 USD. Outrageous!
This is because bumpers are no longer real bumpers — à la Volvo 740 or 760, if you know what I mean.
Oh, and expect much higher bills in real life situations, especially when a bollard or a utility pole is involved, even at less than 10 km/h. Have fun with your modern, safe car!