It’s nerve-wracking enough having an auto accident, dealing with your car insurer and worrying about what to do. 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.
Though vehicle insurer will strike off a facility when there are complaints against it, their list hardly makes for 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. Do an Internet search on all of those shops, paying attention to customer reviews.
After you arrive at the shop to get your estimate, look around and try to learn more about the place. Their license should be hung on the wall, but if you don’t see it, just as them. 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.
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 thing you should consider is the size of the staff working in the office. More people means a bigger overhead for the shop. 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 charge for a lot of services without actually completing them. 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.
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. Three years is ideal for the paint and two years for the body work. Beware of a “lifetime warranty,” however, as this is both unrealistic and highly restrictive.