Selecting an Auto Body Repair Shop

Due to the amount of time we spend on the road the chances of us needed to find a great auto body shop may come up more than once. Most of us get a little flustered at the thought of searching for the right place that can work in your price range. No one ever knows where to start though. Here are a few tips on choosing the perfect auto body shop for you.

The first step is finding an auto body shop that will fix your car to look like the collision never happened. Some good auto body shops will only have the ability to fix your car to a point called pre-loss condition. Pre-loss condition is when the mechanic fixes your cars appearance, body structure, and keeps your cars mechanical reliability.

Next comes customer service, our favorites. Everyone has horror stories about bad customer service in numerous places of business. However, if you are calling an auto body shop that means that lives were once in danger so they should immediately ask if anyone was injured. Their chance at making money should never overshadow your needs or concerns. Many body shops are only in the business because they know that everyone will need to have their car repaired at some point. Most of those businesses do not have a skilled and knowledgeable staff. That is why it is so vital to find the right body shop so you and your insurance company are getting what you have paid for.

When dealing with your insurance company, make sure that you fight for the right to pick your own repair shop. Most insurance companies and repair shops have a deal worked out to lower the shops cost in exchange for giving them business. The shop then cuts corners and leave out steps to keep the cost down. This in turn means you are paying the insurance company the inflated premiums and your deductible but are only receiving second rate repair. The insurance company may respond saying that they can not guarantee the work of other shops but in reality all good shops guarantee their work for as long as you own that car. If a shop says that they do not have that standard, it is a sign to keep looking.

Always ask the person who is estimating your damage questions. If you are working with a smaller shop the person you are speaking with will probably be the one working directly on your car. In larger chain shops they have sales people who do the estimates and have no direct connection or knowledge about your car. The techs working on your car may not want to rewrite you an estimate to make it the correct amount. Never be afraid to ask questions if you are confused. Larger shops may have fancy equipment and tools to make people believe that they are much more advanced then other shops but in reality, those fancy tools are rarely even used in fixing your car.

Always ask the body shop about their insurance programs or DRP (direct repair programs) because this may mean they can not create their own business and need the help of a deal. Not all shops that have these programs are bad shops but it can defiantly be a red flag.

The very best way to find a good body shop is by word of mouth, so ask around. Most people would never send you to a place where they were not satisfied with the work they were given.

Now when you are stuck in a bind after a collision you will have the right information and questions to ask before selection the body shop for you. The last and the most important thing to remember is, if you ever feel uncomfortable or pressured by a body shop, move on because they may be desperate for business because they are not known for their good service.

The Art of the "Invisible" Auto Body Repair

There are few good things about needing auto body repairs, nor about the fender benders, collisions, and other unfortunate circumstances that make them necessary. Besides the obvious risk of injury, the lost time chasing repairs and rental cars, and the hassle of having to figure out the insurance claims process, there are also the financial challenges. Even with the best car insurance coverage, you may have to pay a deductible. And, once your vehicle has been in an accident, the risk exists that its value could be significantly reduced. The good news is that the quality of collision damage repair after the accident can make a world of difference.

What is an Invisible Car Repair?

The concept of the “invisible” car repair is simple, although elusive. An invisible repair is one that is done so well, with such high quality materials and workmanship, that even you can’t tell the vehicle was ever damaged. You may think this means simply matching the existing paint color and finish, but it is much more than that. To be truly invisible, the damage must be repaired flawlessly on the outside, but also on the inside. Using today’s technology, many repair shops can match factory paint. But a truly invisible car repair uses high quality, original manufacturer’s replacement parts and complies exactly to the manufacturer’s specifications for your vehicle. Body damage repairs use the best of modern technology and materials, and are performed by trained, experienced service professionals. In other words, everything about the restoration is perfect, and the vehicle both looks and functions just as it did before the accident.

How Do I Find High Quality Collision Repair?

Many collision damage repair shops claim to use high quality materials and deliver flawless results, but how do you know if it’s true? How can you tell which one will make good on the promise of an invisible damage repair job? Start by asking friends, coworkers, or other trusted sources for recommendations. You won’t have a lot of time to figure this out, assuming you need to get your vehicle under repair as quickly as possible, but don’t rush the process too much. Look for a locally owned shop with history in the community. Chain or franchise shops can be qualified too, but a local small business stakes its future survival on its reputation. Ask smart questions about important issues like warranties, and the materials and equipment that will be used on your vehicle. Do they use manufacturer’s parts and specifications and do they have the technology necessary to do the job right? Are the service technicians trained, experienced, and appropriately certified? Will the shop handle your insurance claim for you? Are the customer service staff members helpful, courteous, and professional?

Finally, trust your instincts. You don’t have to know a lot about the auto body industry to know when you’ve found the right shop for your repairs, as long as you know which questions to ask. Don’t hesitate to tell the collision repair technician that you want – and expect – an “invisible” repair. If they don’t understand what you mean, you may not be in the right place!