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How to Choose a Auto Body Shop

It’s difficult enough to have a car accident, talking with your car insurance provider and stressing about getting around. The last thing you’ll appreciate is getting the runaround from the auto body shop that will be fixing your vehicle. As with any business, auto body shops offer varying levels of quality, so spare yourself the hassle by doing your homework before picking one.

Car accident repairs are likely to cost big money, and it’s wise to go with an auto body shop that is highly recommended. If your policy covers the majority of the costs, you may automatically go with the authorized repair facility in your area, but hold it.

Though vehicle insurer will strike off a facility when there are complaints against it, their list hardly makes for a recommendation. Instead, obtain the details for different shops from your insurer and then ask people around you for opinions on any of those shops that they’ve used before. Do an Internet search on all of those shops, paying attention to customer reviews.

After you arrive at the shop to get your estimate, look around and try to learn more about the place. You should see their license hung on a wall, but if you don’t, politely request to see it. Inquire as well how long they have been in operation and whether they have always been located in that specific area. The answer will give you signs about the shop’s stability.

You’d like to know how long the manager has been working with the company and if he also has auto body repair skills. Though the manager does not need a background in repair to manage a successful business, this knowledge will definitely help keep the work high-quality.

Another thing you should consider is the size of the staff working in the office. More people means a greater overhead. Overhead expenses can considerably vary even if they’re located in the same town or city. In some cases, shops with larger overheads will take shortcuts just to increase their profits. Or they may bill you for services that they won’t actually complete. Of course, this is not true in all cases, and that is why you have to do some research before choosing an auto body shop.

Lastly, as you receive your estimate, ask about the shop’s warranty. This must be in written form, good for at least one year for both workmanship and parts. The ideal coverage for the body work is two years and, for the paint, three years. Beware of a “lifetime warranty,” however, as this is both unrealistic and highly restrictive.

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