How to Find a Good Auto Body Shop

Auto - Body Shop

When your a car owner, you might find yourself in a position where need to find a good and honest auto body shop. Perhaps you’re involved in a car accident or you come out from the store and see that your car has been hit by someone. Maybe, even a random act of nature like high winds caused a limb to break off a tree and hit your car. So how do you go about finding a good and honest auto body shop?

Most people begin by asking their family and friends or even a neighbor. While you might be tempted to pick a random shop out of the yellow pages, you might accidentally call a shady and  unreliable auto body shop. Many people have had success using online directories like SmartGuy.com, which lists thousands of local professionals many with ratings you can verify. Either way, here are a few things that will help you locate a good auto body shop.

Get Informed
Learn details about the auto body repair shops near you. It’s always a good idea to look for an auto body before you need one, that way you be in a panic and in a rush and be able to make better decisions when dealing an accident. Reading online reviews about auto body repair shops can be a very useful source of information. And never forget the tried and true word of mouth approach. You can get an understanding of the quality of work of the auto body repair shop based on feedback from customers, ratings and reviews.

Gather a few estimates
Seek a written detailed written estimate from each of the auto body shops. The estimate should include a summary of labor, material costs, the specific brand of materials, and details of the scope of the job. Also, you should ask for an itemized bill after all the work is completed. If the written estimate doesn’t match the itemized bill, don’t be afraid to ask about any discrepancies.

Look for a neat, clean and well-organized auto body shop with the most modern equipment
Most vehicle manufacturers recommend specific repair procedures and equipment for the repair of their vehicles. Make sure that the auto body shop you choose is trained well in these procedures and that they have the proper equipment. You also want to look for professionalism in the customer service department. They should be happy and willing to help you with all your questions. Professionally run auto body shops will have a courteous, helpful staff willing to answer all of your questions. It’s always recommended that you visit the auto body shop before making your decision on who will repair your vehicle.

Look into reviews
Before taking your car to an auto body shop, look and see if they have a (Better Business Bureau) BBB rating or SmartGuy rating. You can also enter the auto body shops name online followed by the words “rip off” or “scam” and see if anything comes up. You might also find some information on their company at your state’s Contractors License Reference Site.

Auto body repair shop certifications
When you arrive, look for the shops business license on the wall and ask to see it if you can’t locate it. Certifications, such as I-CAR and ASE, are a valid sign of a good reputable auto body repair shop. A certification usually means that the auto body repair shop has the skills and knowledge required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs.

Warranty on the auto body repair work
Any good and competent auto body shop should offer a warranty. If they offer a warranty, ask how long it lasts and what it will cover.

Materials
In addition to the overall cost to your vehicle repair, you should also find out what kind of parts and materials are being used for your car repair. Are they original parts from the manufacturer? Or, are they cheap replacement parts from somewhere else? Most auto body repair shops should repair your vehicle with quality parts and performed so that the damage from the accident is not noticeable.

When you’re wanting to find a good auto body shop, it pays to take the right steps.