It’s stressful when your car needs collision repairs, but you’re not sure which business to trust. It’s also inconvenient to be without wheels. “How long will it take?” is the first thing we want to know, but as you search for a reputable auto body shop, keep these other questions in mind.
What credentials should a reputable auto body shop have?
Most reputable auto body shops will display certifications from associations in the industry, such as the Independent Auto Body Association (IABA), AAA, or the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS).
It requires considerable skill and knowledge to repair a vehicle. Not all technicians regularly work with classic models, or certain foreign cars. Some specialize. Consider how long they’ve been in business, and ask if they have experience with your vehicle, as well as the type of repairs that are needed.
Is there a warranty for repairs?
A reputable body shop will offer a written warranty that guarantees the repair work and parts used for a minimum of one year. Make sure to ask what their warranty policy is, and how long it’s valid for. This can tell you everything you need to know about a business. If they don’t trust in the lasting quality of their work, neither should you.
What will it cost?
Most shops will provide a free quote. Your insurance company may have standing agreements with certain businesses, but to find a reputable auto body shop, it’s a good idea to get a few estimates. This process of elimination prevents you from being overcharged, although the lowest quote is not necessarily ideal. We tend to get what we pay for in quality. A technician should explain your options in detail, and put the estimate in writing.
Upon completion of repairs, request an itemized bill. Compare the statement to the original quote you were offered, and question any discrepancies.
It’s worth taking the extra time to find a reputable auto body shop. Asking the right questions will give you confidence in your decision. You can also check reviews online to find out if other customers are satisfied. Hopefully you never need their services again, but you’ll know where to send friends and family if they do.