How to Choose the Best Car Collision Repair Center

NCC-man fixing the car body

For those individuals who develop an emotional attachment to their car, choosing the best car repair shop is essential. However, with the massive number of car repair shops available, choosing the right one can be a daunting task, and that’s where articles like this become invaluable.

This article will supply you with all the information you need to choose the best car collision repair shop. It highlights the various factors that should be considered and provides information that enables you to make an informed decision and choose the best repair shop that meets your needs.

Let’s Look at the Numbers

According to Statista, the number of registered cars in the U.S. in 2017 was slightly over 273 million; in 2018, 276 million; and in 2022, 284 million. As the number of cars on the road increased, so too did the number of car accidents. For example, in 2018, there were 6.74 million car accidents reported, and in 2019, there were 6.76 million car crashes reported.

In 2020, there were 5,250,873 reported car accidents in the U.S., which equals a daily average of 14,836 or a car accident every 6 minutes. It is estimated that 35,766 fatal car accidents occurred in the U.S. in 2020 and 38,824 car collision-related fatalities.

Furthermore, another statistic estimated that the U.S. car repair sector would generate $78.4bn in revenue in 2022, representing a growth rate of 3.5% compared to 2021.

How to Choose the Best Car Repair Shop

It is well-established that many people form an emotional attachment to their cars. When you combine this with the financial investment people have made in their cars, being involved in a car accident and damaging one’s car becomes a big deal and, in some cases, a traumatic experience.

All car owners realize they need to choose the best car collision repair shop, but because of the vast number of car repair centers available, it may prove difficult and frustrating to choose a collision shop that best suits your needs. Here are some handy tips to help you find the best car repair center:

Tip #1: Reach out and ask.

It is surprising how many people have worked in a car repair center or a related industry, and this is why, when looking for the ideal auto repair shop, you should never be afraid to reach out and ask. This includes asking family members, friends, or anyone you trust to give an honest, unbiased opinion. It is also recommended that you rely on people with first-hand experience with a particular car collision repair shop and never forget to conduct your own research online.

Tip #2: Read independent reviews.

When trying to find the most suitable collision and repair, it is always a good idea to utilize every resource at your disposal, including independent customer reviews. Set aside some time to go online and conduct research, paying particular attention to online customer reviews. Wherever possible, try to find before and after repair collision damage pictures; as they say in the classics, “seeing is believing.”

Tip #3: Ask your trusted mechanic.

Ask your local mechanic for their opinion. If you have a local mechanic who has worked on your car before and whose opinion you can trust, ask them for a recommendation. Getting a recommendation from a mechanic you trust is a good starting point, but you should also follow up any recommendation with independent research.

Tip #4: Prioritize certified technicians.

When searching for the best car collision repair center, always look for one with the appropriate certifications. Ideally, a repair center should have a general certificate such as the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) and a specialist certification signifying that they are qualified to work on a particular brand of car.

Typically, these certifications will not be hard to find as most car collision repair centers will proudly display them in an attempt to differentiate themselves from the competition and get your business.

Tip #5: Ask the right questions.

W. Edwards Deming, a famous American engineer, author, and lecturer, famously said, “If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing.” This logic is certainly applicable when finding the right auto repair shop. When looking for suitable local collision repair shops, never be afraid to ask questions, for this is the only way you will find answers.

Here are some questions you can ask when searching for a suitable auto repair center. Forewarned is forearmed; asking these questions will help you choose the right car repair center and avoid being ripped off.

  • Ask if the shop provides written estimates. This is important because it helps keep the repair shop accountable.
  • Ask if the chosen auto repair shop offers any warranty.
  • Find out whether the car repair shop has set arrangements with insurance companies and if not, find out their approach when dealing with insurance issues.
  • Ascertain whether the car repair shop provides estimates and, if so, what is their estimation process.
  • Try to find out what security devices the auto repair shop has installed. Ask them what security measures they have in place.
  • Ask the auto repair shop how long it will take to complete the repair job. In other words, ask them how long the turnaround time is.
  • Ask the car repair shop what their payment options are.

Bonus Tip: If It Feels Right – Go for It

While it is essential that you do your research before choosing an auto repair shop, there will also be times when you just have to go with your gut. There’s a common expression in American parlance, “trust your gut.” This expression refers to a “gut feel,” or put another way, “if it feels right – go for it.” If you get a gut feeling this is the right shop, then go for it, and if you get a feeling there’s something wrong, then leave and entrust your car to another repair shop.


With over 162,000 independent car collision repair centers in America generating an annual revenue of $115 billion, finding the right one to repair your car after it has been involved in a collision and damaged can be an arduous and time-consuming task.

However, with that said, there are several ways to quicken the process of choosing the right auto repair center, including asking friends, relatives, people you know, or a trusted mechanic for recommendations, exercising due diligence by doing your own online research, and reading online reviews. You should also compile a list of questions to ask, as this makes you look knowledgeable and will help you avoid getting ripped off.

Lastly, it is important to always look for certification and trust your gut no matter what other people say or what your research reveals.

A Sound Recommendation

Despite the overcrowded auto repair industry, some companies have developed an enviable reputation of trustworthiness, providing excellent quality repairs quickly and for a competitive price. One such company is North-West Collision Center, an expert in auto body repair in Pinellas Park, FL.

With its comprehensive range of the latest equipment and thoroughly trained and courteous staff, North-West Collision Center is the perfect repair shop to entrust your car. Call now to get an estimate.

Picture of Greg Descent

Greg Descent

The proprietor of Northwest Collision Center, boasts a remarkable journey in the auto repair industry. Originating from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Greg spent his formative years in California, where he cultivated a deep passion for automotive work. In 1996, he seized the opportunity to acquire Northwest Collision Center, a reputable establishment founded in 1959 and situated on Tyrone Boulevard for over five decades. Greg's hands-on approach and dedication to the business have been pivotal since he first joined the team. Under his leadership, Northwest Collision Center has continued to thrive, maintaining its legacy of excellence and commitment to quality service in the automotive repair sector.

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