So you need work done on your vehicle. It’s never a fun appointment to schedule, whether it was in the wake of a crash, or you were the victim of a classic Florida thunderstorm, it doesn’t really matter. All you know is that you need to get your vehicle repaired, and for so many of us, that means $$$$ that we don’t necessarily have (or want) to spend. When you’re looking for the right auto body repair shop to trust your vehicle with, it’s understandable you’d have a lot of questions. That’s why we’ve compiled auto body selection tips to pay attention to before you make that decision. The right shop will treat your vehicle like it were their own, ensuring the repairs are done properly, with no cut corners to surprise you a few months down the road, it’s a big decision. These keys will help you erase doubts about the decision you make.
Estimates may play a big part in the final decision you make. Whether your insurance is covering everything past a deductible or not, those estimates come in handy. Especially if you’re uninsured or have a high deductible, and you might be surprised at the difference in estimates several different repair shops will give you. If you pick a few around the city and its suburbs to check out, you’ll likely have a pretty solid idea of the reasonable range you’re looking at in order to make the repairs you need to get your vehicle back to good as new and on the road again. It’s much better to be armed with information from several shops rather than going in blind and agreeing to the first estimate you’re given.
Are They Answering Your Real Questions?
Some shops will skirt around the real questions you’re asking in order to shmooze you into the sale, but don’t be fooled! Head into the estimate appointment armed with the questions you definitely need answers to before you agree to let them hold and repair your vehicle. Ask about warranties (you’ll want a written one, and one-year is a minimum – make sure you’re checking the stipulations tied to it), what insurances the shop has (you want to know you’re covered if your car is stolen, destroyed, or burglarized while it’s in their care), and always ask about materials. If the shop isn’t planning to use high-grade, manufacturer-approved materials, you could be getting a less-than-desirable job. If paintwork is involved, make sure to inquire about the type of paint, how many coats, and clear coat your shop plans to use. All of these things could impact the final product, and you don’t want to shell out all that money for a vehicle that doesn’t look shiny and new when it’s all said and done.
Your Intuition Is Worth Something
Gut feelings are there for a reason. If you’re meeting with a shop’s team for an estimate, and you don’t feel right about the situation, it probably isn’t the shop for you. You’re going to be working with these people for awhile as they repair your vehicle, after all, you should be at ease, comfortable, and trusting. If you’re not, that red flag is worth paying attention to.
What About Word of Mouth?
Let’s talk reputation. There are many things in this world that most people make their decisions on based off of who in their circle of people recommended something to them. When you seek the advice of someone you trust, that recommendation is often as good as gold, and weighs more than a hundred online reviews from strangers you don’t know. We recommend asking several friends. If one place pops up more than once, it’s probably worth checking out. Word of mouth is a powerful thing, and good reputations generally aren’t earned on a fluke or two.
Taking these things into consideration can help make your choice much easier. At the end of the day, choosing an auto body repair shop is all about trust, fair pricing, and quality of work.