While in a perfect world no one would ever need the services of a body shop, but we all know that the world we live in is not a perfect one. In the real world, accidents do happen, and when they do it is important to choose the fight body shop to get your car back to looking like new.
Choosing the right body shop is important not only for the good looks of your car but for its safety as well. A well repaired car will be as safe as the day it first rolled off the assembly line, while a poorly repaired car may be dangerous to drive. It is important to choose a body shop that uses genuine manufacturer parts (not those that are from discounted auto parts stores and such) and whose staff is capable of putting all the pieces of your car back just the way they were.
When dealing with the insurance company, it is important to keep in mind that most states give consumers the right to choose their own body shop for needed repairs. While insurance companies may try to steer their customers to preferred body shops, consumers can and should do some research on their own in order to find the best match for their needs. Many insurance companies have been caught doing illegal and shady repairs to cut down on their expenses, one of which was mentioned here in this CNN Money article.
One of the best ways to find the perfect body shop is simply to ask around. Asking family members, friends and coworkers is a good way to get some recommendations about which body shops are the best. It is important to solicit these individuals for advice on which body shops do the best work. If you know someone who has recently been in an accident, you may want to ask them about their experience, and about which body shop did the work on their vehicle.
As you are evaluating different body shops, it is important to take a good look around, looking on YELP and Angie’s List are good places to find bodyshops. The shop should be neat and tidy, not dirty and disorganized. It is also important to look for various industry certifications and certificates held by the employees of the company. These certifications will help to ensure that the work will be of the highest quality. There have been many instances where body shops have been caught using improper techniques and have been caught on tape doing it like this video below:
It is important to look for certain pieces of equipment as you tour the shop, preferably accompanied by the owner of the facility. A modern body shop should include a paint spray booth and a modern frame machine (used to measure an pull the body of the vehicle). The owner of the body shop should be proud to show you around the shop; if he or she is reluctant to show you around, it should serve as a big red flag. You can even go 1-step further and find a car inspection company in your area that will look over the car and give you the run down if it was fixed correctly!
When evaluating body shops, it is a good idea to talk directly to the owner of the shop. It is fine to get an estimate from a worker, or to have a technician answer specific questions, but talking directly to the owner may give you a better feel for the quality of the shop and what they are capable of. It is important to discuss your insurance claim and the rules and regulations governing the repair. It is also important, of course, to get several different estimates in order to make sure you are getting the best value for the money.