When your car is in need of serious repair, sometimes the do-it-yourself option isn’t always the best move. Regardless of whether or not your handy with cars (and love fixing them up), sometimes it’s best to let a certified professional take the wheel. Simple tune-ups and the occasional tire change can be done in your own garage, but when dealing with the aftermath of a collision or major vehicular accident, you should definitely get your car to the best auto body repair shop in your area.
Of course, it’s a little easier said than done—especially since most auto repair shops will say they’re the best. How do you push past advertising and determine which company should handle your car? Here are five helpful tips.
1. Ask about the warranty.
Always ask different auto body repair shops about the types of warranties they offer customers, and then compare offers and guarantees. If you do purchase the warranty or are given documents about it, be sure to keep them all on-hand so they can be easily reached when necessary. It’s important to pick the best one to suit your situation since you’ll most likely pay a lot to get your car fixed.
The best warranty would be one that lasts for the entire lifetime of your car. If you find an auto body shop that offers such a warranty, be sure to carefully examine the fine print and clarify as many things you can think of to ensure your car’s protection.
2. Consider the shop’s proximity.
The location should be one of your priorities when looking for an excellent auto body repair shop. It’s much better to find a shop within close proximity to you so that it’s easier to follow up on your car’s status. If you can support a local business in doing so, even better. If their reputation is on par with your standards and they’re licensed, certified experts, then why not?
3. Consider the shop’s reputation.
Given how easy it is to search something on Google, you should have no problems finding reviews and ratings for each auto body repair shop you’re considering. Legitimate feedback platforms with verified customer reviews are the best way to cut through the typical advertising/marketing and find out just how reputable and responsive the shop is.
Of course, it’s impossible to make everyone happy, so it’s expected that most shops will have one or two negative reviews against them. The trick is reading the reviews and weighing the negatives against the positives. One 2-star review out of twenty verified 5-star reviews still counts as a glowing reputation.
4. Take the tour.
Before actually bringing your car over for repair, it pays to pay a visit to the shop you’re considering and ask for a tour of the premises. Most shops only allow customers to stay in the receiving area but will make an exception if a potential client asks to be shown around the premises. Take this chance to scrutinize the shop’s physical condition. A clean, orderly shop means that the people working there care about their reputation. It also means that they’re organized, they follow a system, and they’re careful with their equipment—which is exactly what you want from an auto body repair shop.
5. Only do business with certified experts.
Check if the company’s license information is displayed where it can be spotted right away. Go online and research the shop’s details to see if they have lawsuits against them. In addition to professional certifications, look into their reputation in the community. Ask around if people in your neighborhood have tried their services.
Also, take note of their customer service. Can they answer your questions clearly? They should know to keep you in the loop without prompting, as the car is still your property and you’re entitled to know its status.