If you have ever been in a car accident, you can probably remember how flustered and overwhelmed you felt. You’re looking for collision repair tips and how to deal with an already stressful situation.
Even small accidents can leave you feeling shocked, bewildered, and worried about how to repair your vehicle quickly and professionally.
With hundreds of auto body shops across Alberta, you might wonder how to make sure that you choose a dependable collision repair specialist. Fortunately, you can help narrow the options by asking some critical questions of prospective repair specialists. Below are twelve questions to ask before repairing your car.
1) How long has the company been in business?
There is no substitute for experience in the collision repair industry. One small mistake or oversight could leave your vehicle in worse shape than it was following your accident. In most cases, auto repair centres with decades of experience are better choices than providers who are new to the market.
2) What about my insurance provider recommendations?
After you call for help, the first phone call you should make after an accident should be to your insurance provider. You will need to provide your insurance carrier with a description of the accident as well as any photos of the damage if you have them.
It’s important to remember that in Alberta, insurance companies cannot dictate where you can have your vehicle repaired. The decision for choosing a reputable and high-quality collision repair shop rests in your hands. When it comes to collision repair, it’s always your choice.
3) Is the collision centre licensed?
“All Alberta repair businesses must legally be licensed by AMVIC. This includes body shops, inspection facilities, brake and muffler shops, car starter installers and windshield tint and repair shops. Alberta is the only province in Canada that regulates automotive repair businesses in the same way it regulates automotive sales businesses.”
– The Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC)
The collision shop you select should be fully licensed and insured. While many businesses post this information on the wall of their facility, you may have to ask to see a copy of their license. Be wary of any provider that fails to provide license or insurance information.
4) Does the centre offer a towing service?
Some car accidents are so severe that a vehicle may not be safe to drive. In other cases, a car may not start following an accident.
In these cases, a towing service is important. If you’re unable to safely transport your vehicle to a collision shop following an accident, make sure that the provider you choose offers towing services, or can help you to access towing services to make arrangements and make things a little easier for you.
5) Are the customer reviews favourable?
One of the best ways to evaluate a collision repair specialist is to scan their online reviews. Check out reviews on Google and social media sites. Good examples are reviews posted on Facebook and Yelp.
6) Does the company use OEM parts or aftermarket parts?
Not all collision repair centres offer parts produced by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). If you own a specialty vehicle or a car manufactured by a company that cautions against the use of aftermarket parts, then make sure to ask prospective repair centres exactly what type of parts they offer.
7) How responsive are their employees?
Trouble reaching a representative at the collision centre by phone or email is a major red flag. Or, if you call and the person on the other end answers the phone as if it were their personal cell phone.
We know that you need updates on your vehicle and an unresponsive provider will only lend to your frustrations after an accident. As you compare collision repair centres, look for family-owned centres staffed by personnel who are polite and responsive to your needs and questions.
8) Does the company have a location close to your home?
“Even the best shop might not be worth the effort if its hours conflict with your schedule or you have few transportation options after you drop off the car.”
– Consumer Reports
A convenient location can make a world of difference when getting your car fixed up. By choosing a location that is close to your home or place of employment, you can save money on transportation and make it easier to check in on your vehicle while it is in the shop.
Here’s an important collision repair tip: A sign on the front doesn’t mean much if your car gets shipped out of your town. It’s important to check with a centre to make sure your car is going to be staying in a local repair facility. Especially should you forget something in your dash and need to pick it up.
9) Has the company provided you with a clear estimate?
A clear written estimate is the foundation of sound collision repair. Avoid choosing fly-by-night repair providers who refuse to provide you with a written estimate that outlines the parts and labour that will be required to complete your repair work.
10) Is a warranty offered? If so, are there any limitations?
The auto repair centre you choose should guarantee work with a warranty. Unfortunately, many repair centres offer a very limited warranty or no warranty at all. Make sure warranty details are clearly outlined in your written estimate.
11) Approximately how long will the repair process take?
Carrying on everyday life without a vehicle can be challenging. In addition, as a prospective repair centre customer, you deserve to know, approximately, how long you will be without your vehicle.
In general, established collision repair centres with plenty of repair bays, technicians, and available parts will be able to repair your car faster than smaller providers that do not maintain an extensive on-site parts inventory.
12) What other services does the repair centre offer?
Ideally, the collision repair centre you choose will be able to provide some other key services to get your vehicle back in tip-top shape. Before you hand over the keys to your vehicle to an auto body specialist, check to see if they offer the following services:
- Windshield and glass repair
- Paintless dent repair
- Professional paint services
- Access to 24-hour towing providers
- Replacement of auto accessories
The Bottom Line on Collision Repair Tips
Finding a dependable collision repair shop is not always easy. The ten questions above can help you choose a provider who will properly repair your vehicle at an affordable price.
We invite you to contact us at CSN JD Collision to find out why we are considered one of the Lakeland Region’s most reliable collision repair centres. With over 40 years of experience repairing vehicles, our team of professionals will ensure you receive a reliable estimate and superb repair results to match. We have two convenient locations and have the resources needed to complete your repairs swiftly and accurately.
We look forward to serving as your trusted collision repair specialists.