It’s hard enough to experience a car accident, dealing with your insurer and thinking how to get around. The last thing you’ll appreciate is getting the runaround from the auto body shop that will be fixing your vehicle. Just like any business, auto body shops provide varying degrees of quality, so save yourself the hassle by doing some homework before selecting one.
Car accident repairs are likely to cost big money, and it’s wise to go with an auto body shop that is highly recommended. If your policy covers the majority of the costs, you may automatically go with the authorized repair facility in your area, but hold it.
Even if a car insurance company will eliminate a facility that gets complaints, its list is not equivalent to a recommendation. Request instead for the info for many body shops from your insurance provider and then ask people for comments about any of the shops they may have used in the past. Take your time doing an Internet search on each of those shops, searching specifically for client reviews.
Upon arriving at the shop to get your estimate, take a look around the place and try to learn more about the business. You should see their license hung on a wall, but if you don’t, politely request to see it. Also inquire how long they have been in business and it has always been in that particular location. The answer you get will tell you much about the shop’s stability.
You’d like to know how long the manager has been working with the company and if he also has auto body repair skills. Though the manager does not need a background in repair to manage a successful business, this knowledge will definitely help keep the work high-quality.
The size of the staff is yet another consideration you have to make. The bigger, the greater the overhead. Overhead costs can also vary significantly even within the same town or city, depending on location. Sometimes, a shop with a bigger overhead will take shortcuts for the purpose of increasing their profit margin. Or they could charge you for several incomplete services. Of course, this is true for all shops, which is why you absolutely need to do your homework so you will know which ones are worth considering.
Lastly, as you receive your estimate, ask about the shop’s warranty. This must be given to you in written form and effective for a year, both for parts and workmanship. If possible, you should get two years for the body work and three years for the paint. Beware of those that offer a lifetime warranty though as this is unrealistic and often very restrictive.