We love our cars; we spend countless hours in them driving to work, driving the kids around, and driving for pleasure. Though modern vehicles are fine machines, because of the sheer quantity of vehicles on the road, accidents will happen, no matter how cautious and safe you are as a driver. When accidents happen, you will need to take your car in to the body shop. Because there are so many shops in every town and city, here are five keys to finding the right auto body shop that will get the job done correctly and reasonably.
5 Keys to Finding the Right Auto Body Shop
The first thing to do is find a few auto body shops in your area. The best way to do this is through referrals from family, friends, neighbors, or coworkers. You can also look online for shops in your vicinity. Once you get a handful of shops, it is important to check online for reviews, ratings, and testimonials. There are a few good online review sites that offer unbiased accounts on their experiences with businesses in your local area.
It is important that your auto body shop works with your insurance company. Even if you are not filing a claim on this particular accident, it helps to establish a relationship with a body shop that is willing to work with insurance companies if the need ever arises. Any reputable body shop should be able to work with and coordinate repairs with your insurance company; if you find that this is not the case, move on to the next repair facility.
Take a quick look at each shop you go to. A quick inspection will tell you if the place is run efficiently and if the staff is friendly. If you feel as if you won’t be treated well or just don’t like the vibe, move on to the next location.
Make sure that each and every body shop you visit is properly licensed and insured. There will usually be certificates hanging on the wall, but it is wise to ask about their licensing and insurance. Also, ask about any guarantees they offer.
The final key is the estimate. You should get at least three estimates. The final estimates will vary from location to location, but the difference shouldn’t be too great. If one shop provides you with a very low estimate, this should raise a red flag. Even if you are taking your car in for a small job, get the estimate in writing. The estimate should also contain a time frame for completion.
Your final selection should be based on referrals, the online homework you did, your feeling when visiting the place, the customer service, and the written estimate. You want to build up a relationship with a reputable auto body shop; if you find one you trust, then the next time you need repairs, you can skip the first four keys and go straight to the written estimate.