Being in a car crash is frightening and stressful, especially if there is significant damage to your vehicle. To weed out subpar auto body shops, you’ll need to know the right questions to ask and a general idea for the going rate for repairs. Here are a few tips to help you find an auto body shop you can trust.
Research Auto Shops in Your Area
Long gone are the days of asking your neighbor for recommendations. While word of mouth is still an important research tool, in the digital age, people can go online to dozens of websites with reviews for virtually every business out there. Here are a few places you can start:
- Angie’s List
- Google reviews
Though they aren’t as necessary as they used to be, it’s still a good idea to get recommendations from people you know. If you have an insurance agent, consider asking them for a reference as they regularly deal with body shops and likely have advice on who is trustworthy and who isn’t. Any business can advertise their services as the best in town, but recommendations from friends and family reaffirm the quality of the work.
Get Several Estimates
After doing your research, it’s important not to go with the first auto body shop that gives you an estimate. As with other repair projects, it’s a good idea to visit one or two other shops for comparative pricing information. It’s not unheard of for one shop to charge $500 for a repair while another says it’s a $2,000 fix.
After receiving your first estimate, bring it with you to other shops to compare quotes side by side. Don’t only look at final costs – pay attention to the details of the quotes as well. This will help you choose a shop that is thorough with their repairs.
Laws in some states allow used or aftermarket parts to be used in vehicle repairs. Often, the parts may not fit or match your vehicle perfectly, leaving it in poor cosmetic condition and devaluing your car.
Make it clear to your chosen auto body shop that you want only factory-original parts used in your car. If you leave them with the impression that you don’t care what goes into your car, you may end up with subpar results.1
Follow Your Intuition
Trust your instincts in these situations. If you visit a shop that doesn’t seem busy, customers might be avoiding it because of poor work. If the place is dirty, cluttered or disorganized, that might be indicative of how they approach their repair jobs as well.
If your gut tells you that something is amiss, find another shop that will make you feel more comfortable.2
Ask If They Offer a Warranty
It’s a red flag if an auto body shop isn’t willing to offer a warranty on their work. While many shops offer a one- or two-year warranty, these are not ideal. Try to find a shop that offers a lifetime warranty that isn’t contingent on who foots the bill.
Ask a Lot of Questions
There are a lot of things to consider when choosing an auto body shop, so here are a few more questions to ask before making your final decision:
- How long will the repair take? The longer the repair, the longer you’ll be off the road.
- How secure is the shop and lot? It’s important to have peace of mind that your vehicle will be safe for the duration of the repair.
- How long has the shop been in business? Older, well-established shops have stood the test of time. Shops with reputations for doing subpar work don’t stay in business very long. Newer shops may not have as much experience.
- What car brands do they specialize in? Choose a shop that specializes in your car’s brand to ensure they know the intricacies of your vehicle’s operation.3
Trust Collision Center in Golden Valley, MN to Fully Service Your Vehicle
If you’re looking for an auto body shop you can trust, look no further than Collision Center. For more than 50 years, we’ve been providing our customers with full-service repair and a wide range of services.
Our industry-leading lifetime warranty on Collision Center repairs assures our customers that we will provide the best work in the Minneapolis area. We are fully certified to repair Acura and Honda vehicles. Get your free repair estimate today by calling (763) 541-9727 or contacting us online.