How to Find a Reputable Auto Body Shop
An auto body shop is a business dedicated to the repair of your car’s body and internal components following a collision. They use the latest technology and state-of-the-art equipment to handle all types of repairs, from dents, dings and windshield chips to full paint jobs that make your vehicle look like it rolled off the showroom floor.
The best way to ensure that you get the best value for your money is to go to an auto body shop that specializes in your make and model of car. These shops have the equipment, space, and highly trained professionals to get the job done correctly the first time.
It’s also a good idea to go to an auto body shop that has a reputation for doing high quality work. You can do this by asking around and reading online reviews from other people who have had their cars repaired at the shop.
If you’re not happy with the way your car was repaired or the quality of work, you can file a complaint with the DMV. If the administrative law judge finds that the shop is overcharging or not performing repairs to your vehicle properly, the DMV can impose penalties and restitution to you.
A reputable auto body shop should have a system for estimating the cost of repairs. This helps the shop provide you with a clear, upfront estimate that includes all the parts and labor necessary to complete the job.
Some shop managers are using standard operating procedures (SOPs) to help streamline their estimating processes. Darrell Amberson, president of Minnesota-based MSO LaMettry’s Collision, says SOPs are an important tool for shops to have in place. These SOPs can be refined as necessary to keep the shop’s operations running smoothly.
Another SOP that some shops are adopting is a part-by-part repair list. This allows for better tracking of repairs and costs, and helps the shop ensure it is always using the right quality of parts.
The list should include the type of parts, their brand and whether they are new or used, as well as any aftermarket or third-party parts that may be used in your repairs. It’s also helpful for the repair shop to define the terms of its contracts with you and with insurance companies, so you can understand how much the work will cost.
It’s also a smart move to ask for a written estimate, rather than just an estimate by phone or in person. You can then compare the price of your estimates with the actual cost of your repairs.
A body shop’s management should explain the required repairs and prices, discuss any problems, and tell you about the training and experience of the employees that will be working on your car. They should also inform you about the use of OEM and aftermarket parts and any financing that is available to cover the cost of your repairs or repainting.
If you are satisfied with the results of your repairs, the shop should be able to provide a warranty that covers the work and parts used to do the job. The warranty should be nationwide and not just limited to the shop that you’re visiting.