As a car owner, you may find yourself needing to afford repairs or work on your car. Maybe you were involved in a car accident or a wind storm knocked a branch on your car. When things like this happens it's important to know how to find a good auto body shop.
Many people will begin by asking people they know. Sometimes it might be tempting to find a shop out of the yellow pages, but some of these shops can be questionable. There are lots of people who use online directories like SmartGuy.com and have found great shops to bring their car to. Regardless, here are some tips to keep in mind when finding an auto body shop.
Find details about the shops near you. It's a good idea to look for a shop before you need one so you aren’t in a rush when the time comes. Reading reviews online can be very helpful. The comments of customers, ratings and reviews give a pretty good idea of what the shop is like.
Gather a few estimates
Bringing your car to the auto body shops for an estimate is also a good idea. The labor, material costs, brand of materials, and the scope of the job should all be included in the estimate. Remember to ask for an itemized bill when the work is done. If the estimate doesn’t match the bill, it may be a good idea to ask any questions you have.
If you visit, be sure to look at your surroundings. Does the shop look up-to-date and organized? Also make sure that the people who work there are well trained and have the proper equipment. Lastly, look for professionalism. They should be happy and willing to help you with any questions or concerns you have. Well run shops will have helpful staff that are willing to attend to your questions.
Look into reviews
Before taking your car in, make sure they have a (Better Business Bureau) BBB rating or SmartGuy rating. You can also enter their name into a search engine followed by words like “rip off” or “scam” to see if anything pops up. Information about their company can also be found at your state’s Contractors License Reference Site.
Auto body repair shop certifications
When you arrive make sure they have a business license somewhere in their store. You can always ask if you can’t find it. Certifications like I-CAR and ASE mean your shop has a good reputation. Certifications like these show that the auto body shop has great skills and knowledge to perform safe and quality repairs. .
Warranty on the auto body repair work
Any good auto body shop should offer a warranty. If they offer one, make sure to ask how long it will last and what it will cover.
Find out what parts they are using for your car repair. Are they original parts from a manufacturer, or are they cheap replacement parts? Many auto body shops will repair your vehicle with quality parts and will make sure the damage from the accident is unnoticeable.
Taking the time to find a good auto body shop will pay off in the end.