Before you try to run out and find auto body shops near you, take a moment to read through this article and consider including some of my personal experience as a mechanic into your own personal deliberation about what constitutes the best auto body shops in business. When you break things down, there are really two types of garages in business: good ones and bad ones. The best place to start when trying to scope out a potential body shop is the owner. In bad auto body garages the owner usually instructs the employees to give the impression that your car is in worse shape then you think, or that something is broken and needs to be fixed right away. In a legitimate auto body garage, the owner is more concerned with forging a long standing relationship with you and getting your repeat business rather then just ripping you off and potentially never seeing you again.
The reason why most owners are concerned with ripping people off, especially in a body shop, is because the only two reasons cars ever go in there is for repairs on collision damage or for custom work; this means that the owners of the shop realistically do not see the owners of vehicles too often and do not see the value in repeat business, they would rather try to squeeze every dime out of your while you are there.
The best auto and body shop you can ever find is where the owner looks to develop long term relationships with their clients. While it is true they can potentially never see a newer customer again, these owners are smart and do the best work possible not only to help you out, but to impress you and have you refer your friends and family to him or her. These owners are less interesting in gouging your wallet and more interested in establishing a reputation in their local community for outstanding work and service. These types of people see the value in what it means to be a true professional and are more successful then their more selfish friends in the business.
The best way you figure out which owners are the good or bad guys is either by your own direct experience or the experience of others. You should not be afraid to talk to the auto body shop manager directly and begin to get a feeling for what he is about. After a short conversation and carefully studying his body movement and language, the first impression you get is often the right one.