In the United States, the average number of car accidents is around 6 million. Distracted driving is the biggest reason behind drivers ending up with injuries or property damage.
Almost 80% of drivers have been in at least one car accident, which is why it’s crucial to be as prepared as you can before it happens.
If you do get into a car crash and damage your vehicle, it’s essential to choose the best auto body shop for all your repairs.
If you’ve been in an auto accident and you need auto body repairs, keep reading to learn how to find the best auto body shop for your beloved ride.
How to Find the Best Auto Body Shop
If you’re in a car accident, don’t just look for the “best auto body shop near me.” It’s crucial to do your research so you can rely on quality work and fair pricing.
Let’s take a look at things to remember when choosing the right professional for your car accident repairs.
Find One Close By
While you don’t necessarily want to settle for the closest shop for your auto repairs, it’s still important to find one that’s close by.
That way, you can visit the workshop during your repairs and follow their progress. Auto body shops want to retain customers, so they should offer excellent care and not mind if you stop by to check-in or ask questions.
More often than not, they’ll offer to pick up and return your car before and after the repairs, too.
Research Their Track Record
Car accidents are stressful. Many drivers and accident victims develop PTSD after a crash. It’s not uncommon for people to feel tempted to settle for the first auto body shop or tow truck that comes their way.
Regardless of how stressed you are, save yourself future stress by choosing an excellent auto body shop with great reviews and a reputation that speaks for itself.
How long has the auto body shop been around? Do they have a good track record and references? Ask friends and family for recommendations or if they’ve had any experience with the shop you’re considering, too.
Ask About Pricing
Some auto body shops charge hourly rates for their repairs. They determine the rate based on the company’s overhead costs. Find a workshop that’s close to your neighborhood but keep in mind that the higher the auto body shop’s rent, the higher hourly fees will be.
Even if your insurance is paying for your repairs, it’s still important to get an estimate. That way, you can compare it with another shop if need be to ensure you’re getting a fair quote.
Find out what kind of equipment and parts the shop has, too. You want to make sure they use state-of-the-art technology and that your car won’t be sitting and waiting for a part for too long.
Look for Qualifications
Depending on the auto repairs shop, there could be a lot of employees. Look for a shop with people in place for years. Make sure that employees are professional, polite, and communicative.
Employees should be able to address your concerns with ease.
Ask any shops you consider whether or not they carry industry certifications. The FTC suggests that these seals of approval may guarantee that those technicians have exceeded (or at least met) essential repair and work qualifications.
Likewise, find out if it’ll be those technicians working on your vehicle.
Any shop with certifications, service prizes, and licenses should have them displayed on the wall with dates and qualifications listed.
Ask About Warranties
You don’t have to work with an auto body shop that’s not on your insurance company’s recommended list. However, if you decide to work with a shop off the list, ask them about repair warranties and be sure to get those in writing.
Even the most qualified professionals have moments where they don’t fix something correctly the first time. If that’s the case, you want to be able to count on them offering to fix the issue.
When you work with an auto body shop in your insurer’s network, they’ll typically put on a warranty on any repairs for the duration of your vehicle’s life.
Ask About the Parts
Insurance laws don’t always require auto shops to use OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts when making repairs on cars. Many repair shops use “after-market” parts, which are made by companies other than your car’s manufacturer. Sometimes they use recycled OEM parts (such as door panels, bumpers, etc.).
Regulations vary state to state. If your shop does use after-market parts, it’s your right to refuse them. If you decide to go with original parts, you might have to pay the difference, though.
Even then, they may use recycled OEM parts, which is why it’s essential to ask for specifics.
Pay Attention to Communication
Another important detail to pay attention to while considering different repair shops is communication.
Does the auto body shop answer their phone? Do they provide clean and concise answers? Are they happy to address any concerns and answer any questions.
Little is more nerve-wracking than waiting for your car to be fixed, especially after an accident. Choose to work with professionals with whom you feel comfortable communicating.
Ask if They Have Experience With Your Car Make and Model
Sometimes it’s essential to find an auto body shop that specializes in your type of car. While most shops can fix any car, some vehicles are put together much differently than the majority.
Mass production automobiles contain more uniform parts, making them easier to fix. If you drive a specialty car, one of the most crucial things you can do is visit a shop with experience handling your make and model of car.
Check Their Experience With Your Insurance Company
Most auto body shops are more than willing to work with any insurance company. You can take your car to your choice of shop in most cases, provide them with a claim number, and they’ll take it from there.
However, your insurance company could have stipulations on how the shop fixes your car. They might want to repair something, for example, instead of replacing it. They’re in the interest of saving money, which is why it’s important for you to ask questions.
Some of the best auto body shops can be found in your insurance company’s network. Just make sure they have the reputation and qualifications and honesty alongside the relationship they have with the insurance company.
Benefits to Using the Best Auto Body Shop
The best auto body shops have qualified, expert, insured, licensed technicians. They provide excellent communication and are open, honest, and fair about pricing.
Plus, they perform car accident repairs by using advanced technology and specialized tools to fix your ride. With the latest technology, you can rest assured your car receives professional care.
The price of services is another excellent benefit of choosing the right repair shop. Auto body shops are always competing with each other, which is why they offer prices drivers can afford. If your goal is to save, it’s not difficult to compare and find an option that’s both affordable and reliable.
The best auto body shops make things more convenient, too. Do they offer pick up and drop off service? Have they provided service and options to make your experience as seamless and stress-free as possible?
Do they offer to go over any unknowns with you, step-by-step? While their reputation is crucial in your decision-making, so is your gut feeling as to whether your car is in good hands.
Questions to Ask an Auto Body Shop
After an accident, things can be confusing and stressful. As a reminder, here’s a list of questions to ask any auto body shop you’re considering to fix your car:
- How long have you been in business?
- What certifications and licenses do you have?
- Where can I access reviews and references?
- What types of warranties do you offer?
- What’s the estimate for this job and do you suspect it could increase?
- How often will I receive updates?
- What kind of parts do you use?
- Do you have experience with my make and model of vehicle?
- Do you offer pick up and drop off services?
Don’t Wait to Find the Best Auto Body Shop for Your Car
Aside from a home, cars are the most valuable assets people own. Regardless of how stressed you are after a car accident, take the time to treat your ride with care.
Do your research to find the best auto body shop for your vehicle. Try to find one that’s close by and makes things as easy as possible for you while you wait for repairs.
Pay attention to communication and don’t forget to ask for an estimate!
Are you looking for the best auto body shop to handle all your repairs going forward? Contact us with any questions or come in and say hello!