It’s difficult enough to have a car accident, talking with your car insurance provider and stressing about getting around. The last thing you need is to an auto body shop that gives you the runaround. As with any business, auto body shops offer varying levels of quality, so spare yourself the hassle by doing your homework before picking 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. Do an Internet search on all of those shops, paying attention to 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 a license should on the wall, and if you don’t, ask them to show it to you. Also inquire how long they have been in business and it has always been in that particular location. The answer will reveal a lot 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 thing you should consider is the size of the staff working in the office. The bigger, the greater the overhead. Overhead costs also differ significantly even if the shops are in the same city or town. 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.
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. 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.