Auto accidents are always an inconvenience, and they’re even worse when your vehicle has suffered damage. Not only will you have to deal with your insurance company, but you’ll also need to get your vehicle back on the road without spending a fortune.
In your haste to put the accident behind you, you might think about simply choosing the first collision repair shop you come across. This is a mistake! Not all shops are created equally, and choosing the wrong one can end up costing you extra money, wasting your time, and creating unnecessary stress.
So, how do you know which collision repair shop is the right one for you? It all comes down to doing your research and asking the right questions. Here are some of the most important things you’ll need to know before you make your decision.
1. Does the Shop Have a Strong Reputation?
Before you trust your vehicle to a collision repair shop, spend some time looking into their reputation. Consider how long they’ve been in business and whether they have any certifications. Check online reviews and ask to see customer testimonials. If anything raises a red flag, quickly move on.
2. Will You Receive a Written Estimate?
Not only will a detailed written estimate protect you from unpleasant surprises, but many auto insurance companies also require them before covering a damage claim. Never agree to services without receiving this important piece of paper. When your repairs are done, ask for an itemized invoice and ensure that it matches the original estimate. If there’s a discrepancy, find out why.
3. Does the Price Seem Reasonable?
It’s never a good idea to choose a repair shop based on price alone, but it’s also smart to compare estimates to ensure they’re all in the same ballpark. If there’s a major difference, ask for clarification.
In some cases, the extra cost is justified and is worth considering. The most important thing is to understand what you’re paying for and why. If something doesn’t seem right, get a few more estimates before making your final decision.
4. How Long Will the Repair Take?
There are many factors that can impact the length of time it will take to complete your repairs. This may include how severely your vehicle is damaged and how busy the shop is at the time. The skill of the technicians and whether the necessary parts are readily available can also affect your timeline.
It’s also a good idea to ask about when and how you’ll receive updates regarding the status of your repairs. You’ll want to look for a shop that values open communication and will keep you informed of any issues that come up throughout the repair process.
5. Are There Any Guarantees on the Work?
Most reputable shops warranty their repair work, parts, and paint job. Find out whether the shop you’re considering offers a warranty and exactly what it will cover and for how long. If no warranty is offered or you don’t feel like it’s sufficient, then this could be a sign that it’s not the right shop for you.
6. Does the Shop Provide Rental Cars or Loaner Vehicles?
Just because you’ve been in a car accident doesn’t mean your life stops. You’ll still need a vehicle to get to work, take the kids to school, and run errands. That’s why it’s important to find out whether the shop provides rental cars or loaner vehicles. If not, find out if they have a shuttle service that can take you to a rental car facility.
7. Will the Paint Match the Rest of Your Vehicle?
A repair that’s done with ill-matching paint can actually make the vehicle look worse than it did before you brought it in. Make sure the shop you’re considering has the right technology to perfectly match both the paint color and the gloss so that the repairs are unnoticeable when completed.
8. What Types of Parts and Materials Are Used?
Sometimes, using lower-quality materials will help a repair shop keep their estimates low. It’s important to ask what type of parts you’ll receive. For best results, choose a shop that uses only top-quality parts from reputable brands.
9. What Are Your Insurance Company’s Requirements?
While many insurance companies have a list of preferred collision centers, they can’t force you to use the one they choose. You have the right to shop around and find a repair center you’re comfortable with.
However, some insurance companies do require multiple estimates. You may also have to get pre-approval before the repairs begin. Fully understanding your rights and responsibilities before you get started will help ensure everything goes smoothly.
10. Will the Repair Shop Help You File Your Insurance Claim?
Some collision repair shops will assist you with your insurance claim and even offer to speak with your insurance company directly. Since they usually have much more experience dealing with these issues than you do, this service can become invaluable. This is especially true for busy professionals who simply don’t have the time to deal with the claims process.
Auto Worx: Your Premier L.A. Collision Repair Center
At Auto Worx Collision Center, we’ve been in business for over 63 years and have an impeccable reputation. Every customer receives a detailed and accurate estimate and we stand behind our commitment to provide the highest quality work at a fair and reasonable price.
To help make the process easier for you, we offer 24-hour phone service, towing, after-hours drop-off, rental car and shuttle services, and assistance with filing your insurance claim. If you’re looking for a top-quality collision repair center that you can trust, look no further than Auto Worx.