One of the first things you’ll think about after being in a car accident is getting your car fixed as soon as possible. However, driving your car to the first auto body shop, you come across is a hasty option.
So instead, take the time to do your research and ask questions to identify a trustworthy auto body shop so that you can receive high-quality auto body repair work for your vehicle.
Here are some questions to ask and things to think about before permitting an auto body shop to fix your vehicle.
Reading an internet evaluation of an auto body shop can be a valuable resource. Based on client feedback, ratings, and reviews, you can get a feel of the car body repair shop’s quality. After reading an internet review, you might wish to consider the following questions:
- How frequently will I receive text or email updates on my car’s repair status?
- Can I get online repair updates?
- Can I arrange for a loaner or rental car online or through a rental car agency linked with your company?
- WHAT KIND OF WARRANTY DOES THEIR AUTO BODY REPAIR WORK COME WITH?
- If they provide a warranty, find out how long it lasts and what it covers.
DO THEY HAVE RENTAL CARS ON THEIR LOT, OR DO THEY PROVIDE LOANER VEHICLES AT THE AUTO BODY REPAIR SHOP?
Being without a car is inconvenient, so make sure you have a rental, loaner, or courtesy car while yours is being repaired. Some auto body repair firms feature a car rental option on-site or nearby. Other auto body repair companies may provide loaner or courtesy automobiles to be utilized while your vehicle is being repaired. If there is a pre-rental agreement, carefully study it — including the fine print. Please take photos of the car before it leaves the shop and again when you return it (honest shops will not complain; it’s standard procedure in the age of smartphones). Keep track of the miles as well.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO REPAIR THE AUTO BODY?
This is the most often requested question of all car body businesses. Because each case is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Numerous factors might influence the duration of repair time, including the level of damage to your vehicle, how busy the auto body repair shop is at the time, and even holidays when the shop may be closed. According to CCC Information Services Inc.’s 2017 Industry Trend Data study, the average length of customer loaner or rental automobile usage – the measuring stick used to estimate the length of repair time – has increased from 9.26 to 9.85 days. Additional factors may include the level of certification and training of the repair technicians, the quality of the shop’s parts procurement process and the channels through which parts are obtained (does the shop deal with parts suppliers and manufacturers or auto junkyards?) and the equipment with which the shop is outfitted. Is their equipment up to date or out of date? Is the work environment clean and efficient? What repairs, if any, are outsourced? All of these might either accelerate or lengthen the time it takes to fix your car.
IS YOUR VEHICLE COVERED WHILE IN THE SHOP?
Inquire with the auto body business if they have fire and theft insurance. You want to ensure that you’ll be covered if your automobile is damaged, destroyed, stolen, or burglarized while it’s being repaired. It is also not a good idea to cease paying your automobile insurance rates while being repaired. Most states require auto insurance and penalize you for even a one-day gap. In addition, if the mechanic needs to drive the car for testing purposes, they may face penalties if pulled over. Allowing your auto insurance coverage to lapse will almost certainly cost you more in penalties than you save in premiums — even if the repair time is lengthy.
WILL THE PAINT MATCH THE COLOR OF THE REST OF MY CAR?
Most cars have a paint code on a plate that can be found in a door jamb, under the hood, or in the trunk. This paint code will provide you with the precise color of the manufacturer’s paint. Make certain that the car body shop will use the same color of paint and not a similar hue. Check out this blog post for more information: What Is the Price of a Car Paint Job?
HOW SOON AFTER AN AUTO BODY REPAIR CAN YOU WASH YOUR CAR?
An auto body company will normally return your car to you clean. They may have previously washed it or waited for the paint to cure so you can drive it right away following the repair. Even so, it’s crucial to know whether it’s safe to take your car to a car wash that uses friction brushing or a touch-free car wash with acid presoaks and extremely concentrated car wash soap shortly after a fresh paint job.