Having a damaged car can easily skyrocket stress levels, especially if you have never been to an auto body repair shop. A whirlwind of anxiety and questions roll around your head. Where is the best place to go? Or, perhaps you need to replace the hood of your car because it no longer closes tight. Maybe you are just seeking a new auto body repair shop for future maintenance and repairs. There are dozens of shops in your area. So, how do you choose?
1. Word of mouth: Ask your family, friends, or around town. Someone you know is bound to recommend a place or two. Go online to review sites such as Yelp. Good reviews are proof that the shop has met the satisfaction of customers in the past. Choose a few reputable shops and compare estimates.
2. Be aware of labor charges: Whatever you are having done to your car, a labor fee per hour is always included. Prices vary but can reach to an exuberant amount, such as nearly $100 per hour. A smaller staffed auto body repair shop means they do not have to pay as many people, so the labor prices are usually lower.
3. Get several estimates before settling: If you have the time, shop around for quotes. This will help you avoid overcharging. Some shops may match estimates from other shops. Limiting yourself to only a couple shops might burn a bigger hole in your pocket. It is important to remember the lowest price is not always the best. Trust your instinct. If the shop seems shady, move on.
4. Ask questions: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be conscious of how the staff reacts to questions. Do they seem agitated or irritated? In a professional shop, the staff treats customers with respect and is happy to answer your questions and address your concerns. Make sure you question whether or not the shop will issue a warranty for your car and for how long. Typical lengths for an auto body repair shop would be approximately two years. It is also important to if the shop has insurance in case of a fire or theft. In case your car sustains damage while in the auto body repair shop’s care, you want to make sure the shop is covered.
It is wise to find an auto body repair shop before you actually need it. Having the time to research shops, as opposed to rushing around and taking your car to an unknown shop, will save you time, money, and help you make a more informed decision when the need for auto repairs arise.