It’s nerve-wracking enough having an auto accident, dealing with your car insurer and worrying about what to do. The last thing you’ll appreciate is getting the runaround from the auto body shop that will be fixing your vehicle. Similar to any other business, auto body shops run the whole spectrum in terms of quality, so save yourself the trouble by doing some research before choosing one.
Repairs from a vehicular accident often cost thousands of dollars, and using an auto body shop with good reviews is smart. If your insurance covers most of the repair costs, you may tend to choose the authorized repair facility nearest you, but not so fast.
Even if a car insurance company will eliminate a facility that gets complaints, its list is not equivalent to a recommendation. Instead, obtain the details for different shops from your insurer and then ask people around you for opinions on any of those shops that they’ve used before. 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. Ask them how long the shop has been operating and whether they have always been located in that particular spot. The answer will give you signs about the shop’s stability.
Know how long the manager has been with the shop and whether he is also skilled in auto body repair. 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.
Another consideration you should make is the size of the staff. More people means a greater overhead. Overhead expenses can considerably vary even if they’re located in the same town or city. Sometimes, a shop with a bigger overhead will take shortcuts for the purpose of increasing their profit margin. Or they may bill you for services that they won’t actually complete. 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.
Finally, after getting your estimate, inquire about the shop’s warranty. This should be written and good for one year on the parts and for the workmanship. Three years is ideal for the paint and two years for the body work. Beware of those that offer a lifetime warranty though as this is unrealistic and often very restrictive.