Hi, I'm Peter, 18 from Birmingham. After passing my driving test in 2009 and driving my moms astra for a year until insurance was affordable, I finally got my own astra- a W reg 1.6 8v LS Dualfuel (so it's pretty much the slowest car on the road lol). It's an ex- council vehicle so I got it cheap at £700 with 127,000 miles on it looking like this:

First things first were to get rid of the scratch on the back bumper using Halfords touch up stick (supplied a good match), a good wash and polish, back to black on door trims and sideskirts and get some wheel trims on it for the time being

I then managed to source some SRI alloys off ebay for £51 which I thought was extremely cheap, and then had to buy tyres for them because they're a different size to the originals, and managed to get some smoked headlights also from ebay for £60.

New wheels made a huge difference to handling and appearance, at last it didn't look like an LS (and yes I did inform the insurance company about the alloys- extra £40).
After taking this photo I fitted wind deflectors front and back and I was going to look into fitting front foglights, but before I had chance to take pics of the wind deflectors, a learner decided to drive head on into me on the wrong side of the road after mixing the pedals up. Photo's of the crash:

Astra came off worse- radiator broken so had to get it recovered home, whilst the learners car got driven home! Once it was back home I took off the alloys incase the insurance decided to take the car away- I didn't want to lose £270 of new tyres, and got some better photos of the damage:

List of damage was:
Broken radiator, A/C condensor and fans
Smashed bumper
Bent bonnet
Bent O/S wing
Broken headlight
Bent front cross member
Crumpled O/S crumple zone

Not surprisingly the accident inspector wrote it off as cat.c 4 days later and offered me £1500 for it, and £200 to buy it back from them. So after much umming and arring of whether to get a new astra or repair this one, we went with repair mine (my Dad's a car mechanic), so I got £1300 to fix it with.

A month later after many evenings and weekends work, and trips to scrap yards it was nailed back together (with a foglight front bumper)

Then it had to go and pass a new MOT because of it being a cat c,pass a VIC check and get sprayed. Still haven't got pics of the end result but will upload shortly. Total cost of repairs were £525 inc spraying, mot and vic. But now I have a car which is worth nothing as nobody wants a cat c car.