If you get into a car accident, hopefully no one is injured. But even if everyone walks away unharmed, the collision can be just the beginning of your headaches. Among other things, you’ll need to get a few collision repair estimates.
Most drivers only use auto body repair shops a few times in their lives. That means they may not know which one to choose. You’ll probably get advice from friends, family and coworkers. Your insurance company might tell you that you must use the repair shop they recommend. Finally, if you get no advice from anyone, you’re on your own in finding a reputable repair shop and that can leave you vulnerable to the auto body repair scams we told you about before.
You Don’t Have to Use Your Insurance Company’s Auto Body Repair Shop
Before we go any further, it’s very important to know that you’re not bound to use the repair shop your insurance company directs you to. In fact, it’s probably a big mistake if you do.
The repair shops that insurance companies recommend are part of a Direct Repair Program (DRP) with the insurance company. That means the shop agrees to do repairs at reduced rates to get the insurance company to send them customers. But, to make up for the money they are losing on insurance company work, DRPs will often use inferior equipment, materials and processes that can really be the start of your headaches.
Choosing the Best Collision Repair Estimates
You should get at least three collision repair estimates. Of course, they are likely to be different. And you don’t want to spend any more money than you have to. But choosing the lowest repair quote without doing a little more research can be your most costly option in the end.
1.Look at the Company’s History
Put another way, auto body repair shops come and go. Finding one that’s been in business for a long time is one sign that they are reputable and do good work.
2.Find Out What’s Included in Each Estimate
Accurately estimating the total cost of a collision repair can take some investigating. The repair shop might have to remove body panels to find out the full extent of the damage and the cost to repair it. You might also need specialty repairs for things like aluminium bodies or your particular brand of vehicle. All of these are necessary to properly repair your car, but they can add to the costs.
3.Is the Repair Guaranteed?
If there is no guarantee of the work a shop will do on your car, that’s a sure sign that you should choose another shop. Even if you get a guarantee, if it’s from a shop that has not been around for long, or that otherwise seems questionable, it may not be worth the paper it’s printed on. A solid guarantee is like aspirin for your headaches.
If you have been been in a car accident and would like a complete collision repair estimate, please bring your car to Leons Auto Body, or call us and we’ll arrange a tow if it’s not driveable.