Dealing with auto repair problems can be one time-consuming process. That’s why you should never wait until a collision emergency to start shopping around for the right repair shop.
We’ve put together helpful tips and important questions to ask yourself before choosing who you’re going to work with.
1. What is their reputation?
Obviously you want to make sure the collision shop you’re working with is trusted in your local community. So ask around. Some of the best referrals come from your friends and family, while there are also plenty of online reviews. And don’t just look at the five-star rating. Be sure to read the comments so you can get a feel for what it was like to work with the repair shop.
2. Are the technicians qualified?
Once you’ve asked around and have found a comfort level for working with your chosen repair shop, it’s important to make sure that the technicians working on your vehicle are qualified. How long have they been in business? Are they certified? Do they use state-of-the-art technology? Ask about industry certifications such as I-CAR, PPG and ASE so you can rest assured knowing your vehicle is in good hands.
3. Can they provide an estimate?
Many auto body repair shops provide free estimates—even some free online estimates. While this offers a huge perk, it’s still important to make sure your estimate aligns with the end total. What work is being done? How much for parts and labor? In addition, if your work isn’t satisfactory, can you bring it back to have it worked on? Asking these cautionary questions up front can help save you time and hassle in the long run.
4. What does the auto body repair shop specialize in?
During your research phase, be sure to read about what types of services the collision repair shop specializes in. Whether you need frame and structure repair, glass installation, paintless dent repair, auto paint work, or more, it’s important to do your homework and make sure the repair shop has the professional experience necessary to get your car back on the road.
5. Do they assist with insurance claims?
After a collision, the last thing you want to worry about is dealing with all the logistics that come with an accident. Many collision shops will work with insurance companies on your behalf, which will save you a whole lot of time and hassle.
6. How is their customer service?
When your car is in the shop, you not only want to make sure that you’re receiving quality work, but that you’re being treated well, too. How is the company’s customer service? Are they family owned and operated? Are they respected in the community? Are they personable and do they look out for your best interests? These types of questions should help you make your decision when it comes to choosing a collision shop.
7. Can they offer you alternate transportation?
If you’ve been involved in a recent collision, chances are your car may need to be in the shop for a few days—which can certainly be a burden. While you’re searching for the right auto body shop, make sure that they can offer a rental or form of transportation. Do they offer pickup or delivery of your vehicle? Do they have any shuttles to get you from point A to point B? Asking this ahead of time will only make your process more seamless.
8. Is the facility neat and organized?
Just like any workplace, auto body shops should be taken care of. The way employees treat their work environment can be symbolic of how your car will be treated. Make sure you feel comfortable with the location—as well as the people—before dropping your vehicle off to be worked on.
9. What is the turnaround time?
Depending on the damage to your vehicle, auto body repair can take days, weeks or even over a month. What’s most important is that this is clearly communicated to you up front, so you have a realistic expectation of when to receive your vehicle. Look for collision shops that take same-day appointments and walk-ins versus shops that have minimal availability or long wait periods.
10. Do you feel comfortable?
At the end of the day, it all comes down to your level of comfort with dropping off your vehicle at a specific repair shop. After taking qualifications, experience, convenience, cost and customer service into consideration, you should feel like you’ve come to the right place. And if you haven’t, keep looking.
Depend on Your Local Repair Shop.
At Northeast Collision, we believe in a “No Worries” experience—including free estimates, assistance with insurance claims, free pickup and delivery, lifetime warranties, and more. Most of all, we pride ourselves on unparalleled customer service as we focus on getting your vehicle back on the road. Learn more about our services or contact us today to see how we can help restore your vehicle to pre-accident condition or better.