Have you recently been involved in a car accident? Are you searching for a good auto body shop?
If so, one of the first things you likely noticed was the significantly different estimates you have received from different shops. You may hear $500 from one, while another auto body repair shop quotes you a repair bill of more than $2,000.
Which do you choose? How do you know what shop is going to do the better job?
While good collision repair shops are hard to find, this doesn’t have to be an impossible task. If you’re searching for auto body repair advice, you’re in the right place. Here you can find some helpful tips, so you can make the right decision when choosing the shop for your vehicle’s repairs.
1. Use Word-of-Mouth to Your Advantage
Any business can advertise their services. However, when trying to find a quality auto body repair service, it’s best to go with recommendations from family members, friends or acquaintances – whether in-person or online.
With 92 percent of consumers trusting these recommendations, you can’t go wrong by listening to people you know, who have actually used the service in the past.
Even if they recommend a shop that isn’t the biggest or most well-known in the area, consider their recommendation. They won’t want you to get a bad deal and have used the service. You really can’t go wrong listening to recommendations from people you know.
2. Location and Specialty of the Shop
Another consideration is where the auto body repair shop is located. You need to find someplace close by, that will allow you to follow-up in person. Also, the location of the shop, or if they need to ship your vehicle elsewhere, is going to impact your overhead costs.
In most cases, the cost of replacement parts isn’t going to vary as much as the actual labour costs.
3. Acquire More than One Estimate
It’s a good idea to take your vehicle to several different auto body repair shops for a repair quote. This is the best way to avoid overcharges. In some cases, shops will even match estimates from their competition.
Also, while you need to protect yourself against being overcharged, you also don’t need to automatically choose the shop with the lowest quote.
You may find one of those so-called fly-by-night auto body repair services that quote extremely discounted prices, but chances are, there might be something they aren’t doing or corners that they could be cutting. This can result in serious issues down the road.
4. Talk to a Representative from Your Insurance Company
Your insurance is a critical partner whenever an accident occurs. As a result, you need to contact your insurance provider immediately after an accident.
It’s crucial that you know what coverage you’re entitled to receive under your auto insurance policy. Having collision or comprehensive coverage is imperative if you want your auto body repairs covered.
While it’s true that your insurance company can be helpful, don’t limit yourself to just their recommendations. Pretty much all auto body shops can work with your insurance company. Do your homework to find the best fit.
5. Ask the Right Questions
When selecting a body shop, don’t go in with your wallet open. You need to go in smart. Make sure you are asking some important questions.
- Does the shop offer a written warranty?
- How long is the warranty if it is offered?
- What will the warranty cover?
A minimum to look for when discussing a warranty is one year. Some shops even offer two and three-year warranties.
Keep in mind, while some auto body repair shops offer lifetime warranties, this is only on specific aspects of your repair – like paint.
The warranties are appealing, and they can help, but it is always important to read the fine print. Make sure you know what the restrictions are, and what your responsibilities are so that your warranty isn’t voided.
Another important consideration is if the shop carries theft and fire insurance. You want to ensure your vehicle is covered if the vehicle is burglarized or stolen while at the repair shop.
6. Only Work with Legitimate, Certified Shops
You should only leave your vehicle in the care of an auto body shop that’s able to back up the claims made with certifications.
Make sure their license is displayed in a prominent location and research the auto body shop online to find out how their service ranks and how they are rated with the Better Business Bureau.
Taking some time to find a shop that operates by the standards you expect lets you know you’ll receive the best possible results.
7. Trust Your Gut
You always need to trust your gut about the auto repair shop you are thinking of using. If a shop isn’t very busy, or if it is run out of a private location without an official certification, then it could be that people are avoiding it due to subpar repairs or that they shop isn’t properly licensed or certified.
If the location is extremely dirty, disorganized or cluttered, then this may reflect the type of work the shop is going to do with our vehicle. This is especially important if your vehicle needs to be repainted or if work needs to be done on aluminum body vehicles.
Is the manager or owner of the shop unpleasant or unprofessional? Do they resent having to answer your questions?
The fact is, you’re going to be happier choosing a shop where the owner communicates well and is straightforward with the customers.
Yes, It’s Possible to Find a Good Auto Body Shop
Finding a good auto body shop doesn’t have to be challenging, but you do need to use the tips and information here. The auto body repair advice provided will help ensure you choose the right service provider for the job.
At CSN JD Collision we’re upfront with our customer because we know that this is not just our shop, it’s your shop. If you have more questions about the auto body repair process, or how long the repair will take, visit our blog or get in touch with our professional staff. We are happy to help with your auto body repair needs.