It’s hard enough to experience a car accident, dealing with your insurer and thinking how to get around. The last thing you want is an auto body shop that will give you the runaround. Just like any business, auto body shops provide varying degrees of quality, so save yourself the hassle by doing some homework before selecting 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 policy covers most of repair costs, you could go with the authorized repair shop located nearest you, but take it slow.
Even if a car insurance company will eliminate a facility that gets complaints, its list is not equivalent to a recommendation. Instead, ask for the info for various car body shops from your car insurer and then ask your friends or coworkers for feedback about the shops they might have used before. Spend a few minutes doing an Internet search on every shop, focusing on customer 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. Inquire as well how long they have been in operation and whether they have always been located in that specific area. The answer will give you signs about the shop’s stability.
Know how long the manager has been an employee of the company and whether he possesses skills in auto body repair as well. 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. The bigger, the greater the 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 could charge you for several incomplete services. Of course, this isn’t true for all, and that’s the reason you need to do your homework before selecting an auto body shop.
Lastly, as you receive your estimate, ask about the shop’s warranty. This must be in written form, good for at least one year for both workmanship and parts. The ideal coverage for the body work is two years and, for the paint, three years. Beware of a “lifetime warranty” though as this is unrealistic and usually comes with several exclusions.