Depending on the severity of the damage, restoring your car can be a costly job. Before heading to an auto-repair shop, use these tips to help you make the best choice.
When your car needs professional auto collision repairs, it’s tempting to head to the nearest shop. But is that the best choice? Save yourself the hassle and headaches by following these key tips.
1. Get more than one estimate
It’s important to get estimates from different auto collision repair shops. If you’re paying for collision repairs out of pocket, get at least two or three estimates before making your choice. That way you know you’re getting the best possible price.
2. Consider the shop’s location
Where an auto body shop is located can play a huge role in the prices charged for services. Businesses have to consider their own bottom lines, so if the shop is in an expensive neighbourhood, don’t be surprised if their per-hour labour charges are more than a smaller shop in a less affluent area.
3. Word-of-mouth means a lot
This is a great time to ask friends, neighbours or colleagues about their experiences with auto body shops. If a friend had an unpleasant experience getting auto collision repairs done, you may not want to choose that shop.
Everyone has an opinion, and you should also keep yours in mind as you collect feedback. Something that bothered one reviewer might not matter as much to you. Make sure to have your own priorities in mind as you sift through reviews and references.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions—including about warranties
When you’re researching an auto collision repair shop, this is not the time to bite your tongue. If you’re unsure about something, better to ask now than pay for something you weren’t expecting.
It’s also a wise idea to check with the collision repair shop about warranties—both existing warranties on your vehicle as well as any the shop may offer. You want to ensure repair work isn’t going to invalidate any of your existing car warranties. You’ll also want to get a good guarantee on the work that’s about to be done on your car or truck.
5. Look for specialty shops
Have a foreign vehicle? Consider seeking out collision repair shops that specialize in repairs on your car’s make. It might mean less hassle and less cost for you in the long run, because the repair specialists are already familiar with your vehicle’s construction.
6. Trust your gut
The research process will allow you to collect a lot of information. Then your gut will help you choose which collision repair shop is best for your needs. Weigh the factors logically, and see what your instinct says about the best shop for your needs.