How to Find The Best Auto Body Repair

How to find the best auto body repair for the best pricing is a subject that a car owner either knows about fairly completely, or doesnt know at all.  One should always be prepared for the fact that auto body repair is costlyoften far beyond what the driver will imagine as an estimate.  There are several useful tips that can help an individual facing body repair work, since even the most minor fender-bender can run up quite a bill.

First of all, one shouldnt be too nervous about paying that bill; as often as not, it is covered by auto insurance.  However, a significant amount of damage and a significant expense (especially if the accident is the insureds fault) can raise insurance rates over time quite drastically.  So while the customers initial cash layout may not be significant at first, it will become so later. 

With that in mind, the deductible is the only immediate headache the driver will probably have; if, like most drivers, he/she took the initial deductible of $500 and raised it to $1000 (which is a major savings tactic in insurance), that driver must now face the fact that this $1000 may be his auto body repair payment out of pocket.  

Another concern one should be aware of is the pre-negotiated payment the insurance company will pay the approved auto body repair shops (and all insurers will give their customers a list of what shops are approved).  This payment from the insurance company is never generous, and the repair shop one selects may be inclined to take shortcuts in repairs.  Caveat emptor is the best advice here. 

With that in mind, the driver should carefully note the estimate in the first visit to the first repair shop, then call a number of other shops, asking for what they would charge for the same work (include chain outlets and dealerships, to get a more complete idea of the best price). 

Speaking of repair shops, they will in many instances attempt to use generic or salvage auto body repair parts, since this is far less expensive.  The driver should always insist on the OEM (the Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts; he can do so especially if the accident is not his fault (if it is his fault, he may not have a say in the matter, based on what his insurance company allows for options).  If at all possible, in any event, the auto body repair parts should be OEM. 

There are several websites online that will rate the auto body repair shops the driver has selected; these are handy for looking up the shops key standards for repairs. Body repair can be a lengthy procedure, so the driver should be prepared to drive a rental vehicle for the time allotted for the repairing of the car.  There should be, for most insured drivers, a nominal insurance fee per month that covers rental cars, although one should be aware: this usually only covers the rental costs for a compact car, not a larger model.  If the driver is a parent with multiple passengers, he/she may have to make up the difference, and should consider reevaluating the coverage in his/her current policy. 

Incidentally, one should never pay an insurer for the warranties on replacement parts used in car repairs (although some insurers do offer this); almost any reputable repair shop will offer the same warranty at no additional charge. 

Finally, one should never sign off on an estimate without completely checking it (to be sure no unauthorized work will be done) and one should never sign off on the final auto body repair bill unless it carefully matches the estimate.  This is a big part of knowing how to find the best auto body Repair service for your needs.

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