How to Select an Auto Repair Shop

Selecting an auto body repair shop can be a bewildering and confusing experience. There are hundreds of shops to choose from in any city and they all claim to offer the best prices, the fastest service, and the highest quality. Can they all be trusted? Or should you be on the lookout for scam artists and individuals trying to take advantage of unsuspecting customers?

Choose Value for Auto Body Repair

Low prices are an attractive promotion, but it is not always best to just go with the body shop that is offering the lowest priced repair. Though most body shops do honest work, there are some that cut corners or install used parts with informing customers just so they can lure people in with rock-bottom pricing. Getting value for car repairs is paramount – value is the combination of reasonable pricing and high quality work completed in a fair amount of time.

Protecting Yourself and Getting the Most out of an Auto Repair Shop

Before deciding on the low bid, or any price quote, find out more about the body shop. Do some research on the Internet and ask around for any reviews and testimonials. There are great online review sites on which people give unsolicited opinions about their experiences with local businesses. Any auto body shop you are considering should have mostly positive reviews – don’t let a few negative ones scare you away as almost all businesses will have a few dissatisfied customers from time to time.

A recent trend in the industry are the use of auto accident consultants. These individuals or companies have established relationships with a network of auto repair specialists and can offer understanding and insight into the workings of the industry. Car crash consultants are often able to offer connections to legitimate repair specialists and may even be able to save you money on a car repair.

The other way to protect yourself is to ask your insurance agent or carrier. Though you are not required to use a body shop they recommend, they do work with a variety of different legitimate repair shops. Using a recommendation from your insurance company may not mean you will get the lowest price, but it will ensure that your insurance company will not balk at paying the balance due.

Finding the right auto body shop can be frustrating, but the frustration level can be reduced with a little research and effort. Spend some time on the Internet, and talk to family, friends, neighbors, and peers. One last piece of advice – get at least three quotes before you select a shop. Shopping around may take a little extra time, but it is often worth the effort.

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.