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. As with any business, auto body shops offer varying levels of quality, so spare yourself the hassle by doing your homework before picking one.
Repairs from a vehicular accident often cost thousands of dollars, and using an auto body shop with good reviews is smart. If your policy covers the majority of the costs, you may automatically go with the authorized repair facility in your area, but hold it.
Though vehicle insurer will strike off a facility when there are complaints against it, their list hardly makes for 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. Take your time doing an Internet search on each of those shops, searching specifically for client reviews.
After you arrive at the shop to get your estimate, look around and try to learn more about the place. 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 you get will tell you much 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. A background in repair may not be necessary to run a great business, but this knowledge will certainly help ensure good work.
Another consideration you should make is the size of the staff. More people means a greater overhead. Overhead costs also differ significantly even if the shops are in the same city or town. Sometimes, shops with bigger overheads will take shortcuts to help boost their profit margin. Or they may bill you for services that they won’t actually complete. 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.
Finally, after getting your estimate, inquire about the shop’s warranty. This must be given to you in written form and effective for a year, both for parts and workmanship. The ideal coverage for the body work is two years and, for the paint, three years. Beware of those that offer a lifetime warranty though as this is unrealistic and often very restrictive.