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.
Repairs from a vehicular accident often cost thousands of dollars, and using an auto body shop with good reviews is smart. If your insurance covers most of the repair costs, you may tend to choose the authorized repair facility nearest you, but not so fast.
Though vehicle insurer will strike off a facility when there are complaints against it, their list hardly makes for 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.
When you get to the shop to ask for your estimate, look around you and try to know more about the business. You should see their license hung on a wall, but if you don’t, politely request to see it. Ask them how long the shop has been operating and whether they have always been located in that particular spot. 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 can also vary significantly even within the same town or city, depending on location. In some cases, shops with larger overheads will take shortcuts just to increase their profits. 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.
Finally, once you have received your estimate, inquire about the warranty they provide. 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 a “lifetime warranty,” however, as this is both unrealistic and highly restrictive.