It’s difficult enough to have a car accident, talking with your car insurance provider and stressing about getting 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.
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 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. 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. Inquire as well how long they have been in operation and whether they have always been located in that specific area. The answer will reveal a lot 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. They may not need a background in repair to manage a business well, but this knowledge will surely be helpful in guaranteeing quality work.
Another consideration you should make is the size of the staff. More people means a bigger overhead for the shop. 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 not true in all cases, and that is why you have to do some research before choosing an auto body shop.
Finally, once you have received your estimate, inquire about the warranty they provide. 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.