It is safe to assume that most people do not enjoy bringing their cars in for repairs. If you do not already have a go-to spot, finding the right repair shop might prove difficult — and a hassle.
Estimates can vary greatly, and you want someone you can trust who will provide high-quality service (and won’t rip you off).
Auto Body Shop Guide
In this guide, learn about eight things to look for in auto body repair shop so that you can be confident your repairs will be done correctly — at a fair price.
1. Auto Body Shop Necessities
Does the repair shop offer the following services and guarantees? If they do not, it is best to keep looking.
- Free, quick estimates
- I-CAR certified technicians
- Lifetime limited warranty for all repairs
- A meticulous quality control process
I-CAR, otherwise known as the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, is a nonprofit organization that provides information and skills needed to perform all types of vehicle repairs safely, correctly and efficiently.
2. Positive Customer Reviews
Here are some popular ways to learn more about a repair shop:
- Testimonials: A shop’s website may offer a testimonials section where you can hear from past customers.
- Word-of-mouth: Ask family members, friends and co-workers for a reputable recommendation. If they offer the name of a shop, follow up with specific questions about their experience, such as:
- How was the customer service?
- Were there any delays?
- How well did the shop communicate?
- Were there any issues or concerns with pricing?
- Consult customer reviews: Google Reviews and Carwise are good resources to check out for shop reviews.
3. The Right Technical Certifications
You want the best technicians in the business who hold the most up-to-date industry certifications and have the right expertise. Here are some you should look for:
- I-CAR Gold Class
- Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)
- OEM Certifications
4. Written Estimates
If an auto body repair shop hesitates to put an estimate in writing, it is a red flag. You want to deal with someone who is upfront and honest.
5. Employee Behavior
This might not seem especially relevant, but it’s an important factor, and it may overlap with customer service. If the front desk associate is in a bad mood or you can hear technicians arguing, it does not paint the repair shop in a good light. This may or may not translate to subpar workmanship, but that is a risk you probably do not want to take.
6. Cutting-Edge Equipment & Technology
Cars today are like moving computers and repairing these machines requires advanced technology and cutting-edge equipment. Look for auto body shops that offer the latest diagnostic systems and top-of-the-line repair tools — think asTech and Mirka — that can handle common issues such as scanning/calibration, paint matching, computer estimating and more.
Ask a shop about its warranty policies and what parts will be used for your repairs. A good, reputable repair shop will welcome your questions and be upfront and transparent about everything.
8. Whether They Work With Your Insurance Provider
It is important to find a repair shop that works with all local and national car insurance providers. It is even better to find one that facilitates all the work with your insurance company to expedite the claims and repair processes on your behalf.
Auto Body Peace of Mind
Remember, it is important to do your homework because the right repair shop will give you high-quality service, fair pricing and superior customer service, all of which will provide much-needed peace of mind.