If your car was recently damaged in an accident, the first thing you’ll want to do is take it to an auto body repair shop to get it fixed. Your insurance company may have a recommended shop or you may have an auto body shop you prefer; the choice is up to you. The question then becomes, “how do you find an auto body repair shop that you can trust, that is reliable and will have your vehicle back to you promptly?” In order to find a reliable and reputable auto body shop, we recommend that you take your time and really do your research. You can receive high-quality auto body repair work for your vehicle if you do your due diligence on the auto body repair shop first.
What are some questions and things to consider before selecting an auto body repair shop for your vehicle?
Start Your Research Online
People love leaving reviews about their experiences with a business on review websites such as Yelp and Google reviews. While people’s experiences are subjective, most people provide an honest review of their customer experience. Be sure to read the positive reviews and the negative reviews. There is a tendency is to focus on negative reviews, however, make a conscious effort to focus on what people appreciated about their experience. A good auto body repair shop will have more positive feedback than negative. What you are looking for is an overall grade of 4 to 5 stars. Pay particular attention to the details of the reviews you read. Also, see if the auto body repair shop owner responded to any reviews. This will tell you how closely the shop engages with their customer. Once you have selected a shop, it’s now time to talk to them about their process and the kind of service you can expect.
Ask About the Provision of a Rental
Check with your insurance company about the provision of a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired. If your insurance policy does not cover getting a rental car, then ask the Auto body repair shop if they provide rental or loaner vehicles while yours is being repaired. Some auto body repair shops have co-operative agreements with a car rental company located in or near their shop. Sometimes, you can receive special discounted rates on the rental vehicle if the referral is coming from the auto body repair Shop.
Ask How long the Auto Body Repair will Take?
This is a fair question to ask your auto body repair shop, however, it is not an easy one for them to answer. There are a lot of factors to consider when doing body work on a vehicle making it challenging to give an exact time of completion. Nevertheless, the auto body repair shop should be able to give you an estimated time of completion with some flexibility built in. Some factors that can impact repair completion time include:
- The extent of damage to your vehicle
- Current repair workload of the auto body repair shop
- Any complications with insurance or lack thereof
- Holidays or specific times of the year
- Parts procurement
Is Your Vehicle Covered By Insurance while being repaired?
Most auto body repair shops carry insurance to protect the business and it typically covers everything within the shop. Verify for yourself that the auto body repair shop has insurance that would cover your vehicle should additional damage be incurred in the course of repairing the vehicle. Sometimes, a technician will need to drive your vehicle and you’ll want to know that they are covered in the event of an accident. Also, check if their insurance covers fire and theft. This way you will know you are covered if your car is stolen, burglarized or destroyed.
Ask how close to pre-accident condition will your car be after the repair?
Depending on the extent of the damage to your vehicle from the accident, a good auto body repair shop can restore your vehicle to almost pre-accident condition. Be sure to ask about how your vehicle will look once repaired so that you have the right expectations when it’s time to pick up the vehicle. Ask questions about matching paints to the original color of your car and how smooth any dent repair will be. Be sure to inspect your vehicle thoroughly before and after pickup.