Imagine that you’re driving home from work one day. Out of nowhere, another vehicle hits your car. You are ok, but now there is noticeable damage to the bumper and quarter panel. No doubt about it, this damage will have to be repaired. But you’re new to the area, and you’re unfamiliar with the local collision repair shops and their reputations. Finding an auto body shop that will get the job done right the first time shouldn’t have to be a guessing game. To help take out that guesswork, we have a list of proven ways to ensure that your decision is the best one.
ARE THEY CERTIFIED?
The first thing that you want to check a collision shop for is whether or not the shop and its employees have any certifications. It’s natural that a shop that delivers top-quality results wil employ professionals that have been certified by widely respected industry associations. Shops will usually display those certifications on their website and in their waiting area. Here are the two main certifications to look for:
A shop with an ASE certification means that a shop has employees who have successfully completed auto body or glass repair courses taught by experts at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, or “ASE” for short.
Any shop that carries the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, or I-CAR, label has met the necessary requirements for ongoing training and compliance to repair specific vehicles based on the manufacturer’s safety and quality standards.
DO THEY PROVIDE WRITTEN ESTIMATES?
It is common practice for reputable shops to provide customers with detailed written estimates before beginning repairs, so try to find a shop that will do this for you. However, there is always a chance that the technicians may find additional repairs that need to be done to ensure occupant safety and vehicle performance, so keep that in mind when reviewing your initial estimate. It’s also a good idea to compare estimates from several different shops before making your decision. This is an especially good idea if you’re paying the entire repair bill out of pocket.
WHAT DO THEIR CUSTOMERS SAY?
Do some online research by going to some trustworthy online sources and read customer satisfaction reviews about the shop. Most reputable repair shops proudly post customer testimonials and pictures of their work on their websites and social media pages. Keeping that in mind, check out any photos of vehicles, especially before-and-after photos. Ask for referrals from others at work, the gym or elsewhere, as word-of-mouth advertising is another reliable indicator for a shop’s quality and service.
DOES THE SHOP WARRANTY THEIR WORK?
Like any other business, a collision repair shop that backs their services in writing usually provides higher-quality outcomes to their customers. When it comes to backing those repairs, warranties can vary from a specified number of miles or months, to lifetime warranties that transfer with the vehicle as owners change. And, when looking over a shop’s warranty, check for what it specifically covers, like workmanship or part failure due to a manufacturing defect. Make sure that you check any and all warranties, and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I LOOK FOR?
In addition, other characteristics to look for include:
Take a look around the shop. Is it clean and orderly? Is there a separate area for painting?
Working With Insurance Companies
Many shops will speak directly with insurance adjusters throughout the process, so you don’t have to. This saves you a lot of time and headaches, so make sure and ask the shop if this is a service they offer.
Does the shop specialize in working on certain vehicle types, for example, hybrid or high-performance cars? Does the shop have manufacturer certifications?
Your damaged car may need to sit outside for a few days until the shop can get started on repairing it. If that’s likely, is their lot secured to protect your vehicle?
DON’T GO TO JUST ANY REPAIR SHOP
Finding a collision repair shop that you can trust with your vehicle can be challenging, especially when you’re new to an area. Hollingsworth Auto Service has been providing Savannah with quality collision repair since 1917. We are I-CAR and ASE-certified, which means we have the skilled technicians, equipment and services to restore your vehicle to like new again promptly and reliably.
To schedule an appointment for a collision repair estimate, click here and fill out the form.