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 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. 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.
When you get to the shop to ask for your estimate, look around you and try to know more about the business. Their license should be hung on the wall, but if you don’t see it, just as them. Ask them how long the shop has been operating and whether they have always been located in that particular spot. The answer will give you signs 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. A background in repair may not be necessary to run a great business, but this knowledge will certainly help ensure good work.
Another thing you should consider is the size of the staff working in the office. More people means a greater overhead. 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 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. 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.