You’ve had an accident. Your car, while not totaled, is in need of repair. You have a say in what auto body shop you choose to use though you can go with your insurance company’s recommendation. However, there are a few things you need to determine before you decide who will fix your vehicle.
When you are researching companies, you need to find out about warranties. You want to know that the group stands behind their work by backing it up with any type of warranty. Most reputable auto body shops will provide limited coverage of the work they perform. If you have a problem during the coverage period, you can take it back to them, and they will repair it free of charge.
Void Manufacturer Warranty
If your car is still under a manufacturer warranty, you need to ask if their work will comply with this coverage. Some garages use after-market parts, which void the manufacturer’s coverage. You can insist that they use only genuine parts in order to keep from losing the coverage you have from the manufacturer.
If your insurance will only cover after-market parts, and you want genuine pieces, ask your insurance company if they will offer a similar guarantee as the manufacturer.
Don’t be afraid to tell the mechanic what you want and then expect it to be done. It is your vehicle; you need it working the way it was before the accident. After-market parts are good in some instances. However, they don’t always fit properly and could cause problems later. You expect high-quality work, and they should know that. If the technician is not willing to work with you, then you should find someone else.
Get Multiple Estimates
Yes, your insurance company probably has someone they prefer you use. However, they typically have more than one auto body shop on their preferred list. Make sure you talk to several of them and get estimates from all of them. Don’t be afraid to show the other shops the estimates and ask how they compare.
Take the time to compare how the mechanic says the work will be done as well as the parts planned to be used. Don’t go by just the final quote. One technician may use a different method than the others to complete the work. While you want to save money, you may want to go with a slightly more expensive company if they are more thorough and friendly than the competition.
Ask for It in Writing
You might get a verbal quote saying the technician will complete the work using specific parts in a specific manner for a set price. However, nothing is binding until you have it in writing. An auto body shop may say they offer warranties or will restore your vehicle a certain way. However, this means nothing unless it is in writing. If the technician is not willing to do that, don’t choose them to restore your vehicle.
You can find a reputable auto body shop if you just take your time. Yes, you need your car back in working condition. However, you need it done right the first time.