Have you recently been involved in a car accident? If so, recovering from any injuries and filing requisite insurance claims are understandably top of mind.
Yet, it’s also important to get your car to the auto body shop as soon as possible to complete any necessary repairs. Waiting too long to perform this step could cause any existing damage to worsen and leave you stranded without a means of reliable transportation.
If you’re in the Plano, TX area, you’ll have plenty of repair teams to consider. Yet, not all of them are created equal. Today, we’re taking a look at how to find the best service in the region, so you can get back on the road as soon as possible. Read on to learn the questions to ask and the factors to consider.
Start with Recommendations
Auto repair is a service that almost every driver will have to invest in at some point. That said, it’s smart to start your search by asking your trusted friends, family members, and colleagues which local shops they’d recommend. Where do they take their own cars and are they satisfied with the service they’ve received?
To widen your reach even more, consider posting your inquiry on social media using a resource such as Facebook Recommendations. This way, your entire community of online followers can weigh in and share their experiences.
In addition to checking with your local circle, you can also perform a quick web search to find the top auto repair shops in the city. In today’s Digital Age, almost every reputable business will have some form of web presence. If a site’s website is outdated, clunky, and slow to run, consider how this might reflect their professionalism and quality of service.
Once on the website, check to see if the shop has a customer testimonial page or a similar section. This can be an ideal way to read firsthand accounts from people who have used the service and met the team.
In addition to links to the shops themselves, you can also see if the shop has a profile on an online business database, such as Google My Business. Here, you can find key details including contact information and hours of operation, along with client reviews. You can also browse review websites, such as Yelp.
Research shows that 84% of people trust online recommendations as much as personal advice from loved ones, so it’s worth checking into these virtual testimonials. In addition, don’t forget to check the shop’s rating on the Better Business Bureau. The BBB awarded Hance’s Uptown Collision Center an A+ rating!
Consider the Shop Location
When you’re looking for a good body shop, location is everything. You might find a great one that checks every box on your list, but if it’s halfway across town, it won’t be as easy to get there and follow-up in person.
Moreover, the shop’s geographical location also helps determine its associated overhead costs.
Nationwide, big-name shops in the heart of the city will usually have a greater number of employees, including front-office staff, that they’re required to pay. In turn, they’ll inflate their labor prices to help cover these charges. For you, those prices can add up quickly.
In fact, while the price of replacement parts won’t vary too much from shop to shop, the price of labor can fluctuate greatly. That’s why it pays to partner with a local, family-owned-and-operated automobile collision repair facility. Rather than charging sky-high prices just because they can, these companies will usually consult proven reference guides that help them accurately estimate the number of labor hours required to complete a common job.
This means if you come in with a damaged fender or broken headlight, the team doesn’t have to guess how much time it would take to complete the repair. They can consult their book and give you a written estimate based on their past experience. At Hance’s Uptown Collision, we reference market-competitive and standard industry rates to give you a fair price, every time.
Obtain Multiple Estimates
As with any major expenses, it’s important to get more than one estimate. This way, you can compare the local prices and make sure you’re getting the value you deserve.
That said, visit several auto repair shops around Plano and request a written estimate from each one. Never go off a verbal quote, no matter how convincing the repair technician might be on the phone. Once you have at least three quotes in hand, compare them to see how the services line up and identify any overcharges.
While it’s tempting to take the lowest quote and drive away, consider the quality of service you’re paying for. Sure, your cousin’s uncle can replace your catalytic converter but think carefully about the implications down the road. Unless they’re a certified repair technician, they could easily end up causing even more damage to your vehicle. This can result in a higher cost than you’d incur by working with a trusted team in the first place.
Conduct In-Depth Interviews
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential repair teams to a select few in and around the city, it’s time to ask each one a few important questions.
Before you get too far into this process, consider how the team makes you feel when you bring up an inquiry or have a concern. Especially if you’ve just been in a car accident, there are a million thoughts running around in your head. You need a team that will sit down with you and explain the entire process from start to finish.
Along the way, you should feel comfortable asking for as many details as you need. If the shop in question belittles you for not understanding an issue or requiring greater clarification, consider that a red flag and continue your search elsewhere.
Otherwise, continue with your interview and make sure you understand the answers to the following questions.
Do You Provide a Written Warranty?
Any reputable auto repair shop should provide a written warranty that covers their services. Yet, how long does the warranty last and what does it cover?
At Hance’s Uptown Collision Center, we provide a lifetime warranty on our workmanship and materials.
Are Your Technicians Certified?
You don’t want to trust your valuable vehicle to an inexperienced technician. It’s worth taking the time to find a team that invests in its employees and ensures they’re up-to-date on all industry certifications.
Our technicians have completed top-tier training and education programs in collision and auto body repair. As a result of our premium workmanship and top-notch customer service, we’re proud to be designated an I-Car™ and ASETM-certified garage.
Do You Provide Rental Cars?
After an accident, you still need the ability to get around town, go to work, and fulfill your personal obligations. In the sensitive time following your collision, you need a team that will work with you to make these next steps as easy as possible.
To make the process simple and convenient, we’ll help you secure an Enterprise or Hertz rental car while we’re working on your own. Ask any prospective body shop you encounter if they will do the same. If they expect to keep your car for a few days or weeks and leave you with no means of alternative transportation, find a different shop that values your quality of life.
Do You Have Experience Dealing With Insurance Companies?
Handling your insurance claim after an automobile accident is stressful enough. You need an auto repair shop that has worked in this capacity before and knows how to communicate effectively with your insurance agency.
More importantly, look for one that puts you in the driver’s seat. This means the shop will go out of its way to work for you, not the insurer. Shops that contract with local agencies are often out to make money and ramp up business, rarely keeping your best interests at heart.
Find a team that can explain the complicated jargon, walk you through the process, and ultimately help you recover the money you need to restore your car to its pre-loss condition. When you partner with us, we’ll connect you to one of our experienced estimators to start the process. We’ll help ensure the insurance company does not cheat you, but instead pays for every part and service necessary to restore your vehicle.
Trust Your Vehicle to the Best Auto Body Shop in Plano
The days following an automobile accident can be filled with confusion, chaos, and heaps of stress. The least challenging step in the process should be determining which auto body shop to entrust with your repair services.
When you have Hance’s Uptown Collision Center on speed dial, you always know where to turn and who to trust. Let us help you work through the insurance claim, complete the necessary repairs, and reclaim your sense of normalcy. We’ve been Plano’s trusted repair center for 65 years, and we’d love to be yours.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment and let’s connect!