Vehicle Repair-How to Choose a Body Shop

Posted by on April 1, 2012 | No Comments

Accidents are a fact of life, and even careful drivers are not immune. It’s not you but the other driver or terrible weather and road conditions. Life happens! Finding the best body shop is important when you are having work done on your vehicle. The right shop means the work will be done so well there will be no clue three was ever a problem. Below are a few tips on how to find the best body shop in your area.

Finding a body shop for a vehicle that you are still able to drive:

Your first step is to get an estimate on cost. Drive to some of the more reputable body shops in your area and ask for an estimate on both cost and repair time. Make sure to get estimates from at least three shops so that you can compare the overall price, repair time and service of each body shop. Your insurance company will require this in the case of an accident, but you should still do so if you are paying for the repairs or upgrades yourself. The estimates are free.

Once you have all three estimates you have a starting place. Your first step is to compare the quoted materials in each estimate. You may find that an estimate that is a lot cheaper actually lists materials that are of a lower quality. This is a poor choice of both estimate and body shop. It is also important to check on the source of any replacement parts or materials. Rather than use factory-made parts, some shops will use parts sourced from a junk-yard.

Finding a body shop for a vehicle that you are not able to drive:

When this is the case you most likely have an insurance quote and a repairs list. You can simply take your list to local body shops for a quote, or even fax the list to a number of body shops.

Make sure you are aware of where the body shop gets their parts. In most cases it will be from the manufacturer, but some source parts from the local junk-yard. If your vehicle needs to be repainted, ensure you ask whether the estimate includes repainting just a spot or the entire panel. Matching paint colors is an important consideration.

Before making your decision:

Body shop repairs can be pretty expensive depending on the extent of the damage which makes the body shop you choose a major investment. As with all large decisions, make sure you have gathered as much information as possible. To this end, a call to the Better Business Bureau and or the local Chamber of Commerce is recommended. You would probably need to reconsider your choice if you found that there were complaints listed against the shop you chose.

Price is not the sole factor in choosing the best body shop to repair your vehicle. It is about their reputation for quality work, delivery time and quality of parts used. Overall, you want to choose a body shop that can provide proven quality work at a reasonable price and in a reasonable time.

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