From the Blog
A Guide to Choosing the Right Auto Body Shop
Not all auto body shops are run the same way. Whether your car has been damaged or needs an aesthetic upgrade, it’s important to enlist the help of a trusted and reliable shop; failing to do so can lead to costly repairs.
With so many options available to you, it can be hard to deduce which auto body shop will be able to provide quality services in a professional manner. And if you aren’t familiar with cars, you may not know what to look for when conducting your research.
There are several qualities that a good body shop is guaranteed to display; read on for a detailed list of these characteristics below. And for all of your Dallas-based auto body repairs, Hance’s Uptown Collision Center can repair your car in an efficient, timely manner.
What to Look for in an Auto Body Shop
If you have limited experience with cars, it can be hard to tell which auto body shops stand out from the rest in terms of quality. Luckily, there are a few characteristics that every good body shop will display.
Professional and Courteous Staff
When interacting with any type of business, the professionalism and courtesy of the staff is a good indication of your experience as a customer. If the staff is rude or unknowledgeable, it’s likely they will be unwilling or unable to answer your questions and provide you with the services you need.
On the other hand, if the staff at your auto body shop is helpful and enthusiastic about repairing your car, they are more likely to accommodate your needs and take the time to do their job properly. From the moment you approach the staff for more information, you should feel that your questions and concerns are valued.
The best auto body shops have high standards for their technicians and only employ qualified industry professionals. These technical certifications indicate that the technicians at your shop have the knowledge, skills, and expertise to perform quality repairs.
Certificates from associations such as the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) demonstrate that technicians at your shop are qualified to restore your car to its original glory. Many shops also hold certifications for individual makes and models, giving you further peace of mind that your car is in safe hands.
These technical certifications are often proudly referenced and displayed by the staff at any body shop; if you’re having trouble finding any sign of a certification, it’s best to find another shop.
Cleanliness and Organization
Even if you aren’t familiar with cars, anyone can assess the cleanliness of an auto body shop. While the nature of the work makes it unlikely that any shop will be sparkling clean, the environment should be tidy and inviting.
If an auto body shop has a strange smell, looks overdue for a cleaning, or is overrun with stray parts, it could be a sign that you should take your business elsewhere. Shops that fail to take basic operational steps will likely take the same unprofessional approach when making repairs to your car.
Positive Customer Reviews
When searching for the right auto body shop, reviews from previous customers is one of your greatest resources. Word-of-mouth reviews from your friends, neighbors, and coworkers can give you a realistic sense of what to expect from each shop, so you can disregard the ones that aren’t right for you.
Checking online reviews and ratings can also give you a better idea of the quality of each body shop. To avoid deception from biased, curated reviews, head to a credible third-party review site such as Yelp or Angie’s List; even checking local forums can be a good place to find reliable reviews.
Generally, a good auto body shop will have positive ratings and reviews from verified customers. Many review sites also allow shops to respond to customer concerns, so you can judge their professionalism from another angle.
Many insurance companies will recommend quality auto body shops that they trust to repair your car after an accident. This indicates that the shop has established a reputation for taking care of its customers in a timely and efficient manner. Opting for an insurance-recommended shop not only saves you the time you’d otherwise spend researching, but can also provide you with a discount via a reduction in your deductible.
Check your insurance company’s list of approved body shops to find a reputable place for repairs and simplify the process overall.
In addition to being courteous and professional, the staff and technicians at any good body shop will be knowledgeable on both their policies and the repairs themselves. It’s important to ask questions when making your decision, and a good staff will have no problems answering them. Some important questions to ask when choosing an auto body shop include:
- Can you work directly with my insurance company?
- Do you provide written estimates?
- How long can I expect my repairs to take?
- What are your payment policies like?
- What is your warranty policy?
- Do you have experience with my make and model?
- Do you charge hourly rates or set costs?
Depending on the repairs you need, it’s also a good idea to ask more specific questions regarding your situation. For example, asking how often a shop does repairs like the ones you need is a good indicator of the services they can provide.
When it comes to auto body shops, the local reputation is everything. Many of the best shops have been owned by a single family for decades, such as Hance’s Uptown Collision Center, which has been in business since 1955.
Longevity is one of the best indicators of a quality auto body shop. If a shop has been serving its community for decades, it’s more than likely that it can be counted on to provide its customers with quality services.
Fair Repair Warranties
If an auto body shop isn’t on your insurance company’s list of recommended providers, it’s important that you ask about their repair warranty policy. This way, if a mistake is made during reparation, you won’t be forced to pay for further damage to your car.
Quality body shops will have no issue offering you a repair warranty because they’re confident in the work they do. If a shop is unwilling to cooperate when it comes to the repair warranty, you’ll likely be better off taking your business elsewhere.
Wide Range of Services
If your car has been severely damaged, it will likely take a lot of work to bring it back to life. In this situation, the last thing you want is to find the perfect body shop, only to realize that they don’t provide all the services your car needs. To avoid wasting your time and money, make sure to choose a body shop that offers a wide range of services.
Some common services that a good body shop will provide include:
- Refurbishing and enhancements
- Full body painting or touch-ups
- Precision color matching
- Window replacements
- Body repair work
- Frame straightening
- Collision repairs
- Insurance claim handling
- Valet service for scheduled repairs (including pick-up and drop-off)
- Rental car services
A good body shop should be a one-stop place for everything your car needs. If many of these services aren’t offered, it may be smart to take your business elsewhere.
While it’s important that your auto body shop performs well on an operational level, convenience is another essential factor that you have to consider. Not only should your auto body shop be easy to reach, but it should also be able to work around your own schedule.
In terms of proximity, you’ll want to choose a body shop that is fairly close to your home or work. Many good body shops will have multiple locations—such as Hance’s Uptown Collision Center in the Dallas area—to reach more potential customers.
It’s also important to consider the hours of operation when choosing a body shop. For example, if you’re due at work by 9:00, choosing a shop that doesn’t open until 10:00 is going to make your repairs even more complicated. A good shop will have thoughtful hours of operation that allow their customers time before or after work to drop off or pick up their vehicle.
Contact Us Today
When it comes to repairing your car, you can never be too picky about your choice of technician. Choosing a good auto body shop is essential to preventing further damage and avoiding unnecessary costs. Before making your final decision, make sure your body shop demonstrates the qualities on this list. And for repairs in the Dallas area, visit Hance’s Uptown Collision Center for quick repairs and an enjoyable body shop experience. Call us at 214-214-4720 to learn more about our services!