Collision repair work can get expensive, especially in situations where insurance isn't paying or you're waiting for things to go through. Even if the incident is covered, deductibles can get pricey, too. For those reasons, you're going to want to make sure you'll be dealing with the right collision repair service shop for you. Here are 5 tips to make sure you find the right place.
One of the first questions you should have for any shop is how good their warranty is. For most sorts of work, a one-year warranty is a bare minimum. Ask if there are specific parts of the job that won't be covered, too.
Always get the warranty policy and other guarantees in writing. Most places should have a printout detailing the stipulations of their warranty. Stow a copy of the warranty away with other car info you have such as the title.
Don't be afraid to get estimates from multiple businesses. Take a lot of pictures and ask around. Be fair and offer the locations you'd prefer a chance to match the best estimate you've gotten. Also, don't use estimates from obviously bad businesses. People in the industry know who their competitors are and they know which estimates are from serious competitors.
Talk with Your Insurance Carrier
The folks at your insurance company know which shops they've had trouble with and which ones they prefer their customers to go to. Ask for a list of businesses there'd prefer you to take your car.
See the Shop
There is almost always bodywork to be done after a collision. This means doing paint on at least a portion of the vehicle, and such work needs to be handled in very controlled conditions. A good collision repair business keeps its lobby looking nice because they know it's a reflection on how they keep the rest of the location. Peek back into the work area to see how clean it is, too.
Word of mouth remains a useful tool for finding out who does good work. You might be tempted to save some time and look at internet reviews, but remember that many negative reviews come from people who were extra motivated to bash on the company. Also, some review sites take money to pull bad reviews. Nearly every driver has collision work done at some point so ask family members, friends, neighbors, and coworkers where they went.