Make sure your vehicle is as safe in the auto body repair shop as you do when it is on the road.
It is crucial to be as prepared as possible before you are in need of auto body repair. Even though your vehicle is insured, the insurance company often will recommend only those auto body repair shops that they are partnered with. It is our goal in this blog to outline some of the most important points to consider when choosing an auto body repair shop.
- LOOK FOR A CERTIFIED AUTO BODY REPAIR SHOP
- We recommend always looking for repair shops that have certifications from governing bodies of the industry and/or industry manufacturers. These certifications are only issued to auto body collision repair shops after they meet strict criteria and pass training courses. Some of the areas could include the technical expertise of the staff, the quality of auto parts and the standard of equipment in use just to name a few. Whether the repair shop you choose has several locations, or just one, look for repair shops with certified technicians. The shop crew should be able to talk through your vehicle issues with ease and confidence. You wouldn’t want an unlicensed doctor to perform surgery on you, don’t settle for less with your vehicle. Shops with certifications will have them displayed with dates and qualifications listed.
- DO YOUR RESEARCH
- Here we are talking about checking out the shops track record and word-of-mouth. This can be accomplished through a variety of online tools such as Google reviews, Angie’s List, the Better Business Bureau…the list goes on and on. Start up your auto body repair shops near me or body shops near me search and then start reading! Read up on the company, how long they have been in business, ask around to your family, friends and co-workers to find out if anyone has experience with auto body collision repair shops.Check out the company website and social media accounts. It may sound odd that we recommend doing these specific online things when researching auto body repair shops, however the way a business presents themselves online is just as important as how their lobby and physical place of business looks and operates. If a company puts their best efforts forward in their online spaces, we feel the more they care about their business and employees and that will trickle down to how their employees will care about your vehicle and retaining your business.
- DO NOT GIVE UP QUALITY FOR CHEAP PRICING
- Most insurance companies do not require auto body repair shops to use OEM (original equipment manufacturer parts. So many shops will use after-market auto parts and/or refurbished OEM auto parts. When making repairs to your vehicle, your whole mission is for your vehicle to be put back together as close to as good looking, and more importantly safe as it rolled off line as. It is crucial that you ask for specifics on the auto parts being used to repair your vehicle.Quality must be the focus here by both you as the consumer, as well as by the auto body repair shop that you choose. Ever heard of ‘you pay for what you get’ or ‘you can pick two….do you want it good, cheap or fast’? Quality in auto parts and service should not be an afterthought. That quality of service is what you pay for, and the price will reflect the level of quality. Instead of looking for the best price in your area, we recommend choosing the auto body collision repair center that has the best quality products, services and technicians.
Questions to ask auto body repair shops:
- What certifications and licenses do you hold?
- What types of warranty do you offer?
- How do you handle “hidden damage”? – i.e., once a cosmetic auto part comes off, is there more damage underneath
- Do you use OEM auto parts?
- How often and how will you communicate where my vehicle is in the repair process?
- Do you offer pick-up/delivery service for the damaged vehicle?
This is just scratching the surface of preparing yourself for fixing your damaged vehicle. However, we hope that we have pointed you in the right direction when it comes to looking at auto body repair shops. There are many, many choices of auto collision centers near you and this blog post should help you start to narrow down the search off the start. If you are in the Hampton Roads, VA area – feel free to check us out at Tidewater Express Inc and, our auto body collision center counterpart, AutoCraft Collision Center VA.