For most people, auto body shops are intimidating and mysterious. The good ones restore your beloved car to gleaming perfection. The bad ones hide problems. How do you know who to deal with?
First, Do your Research
It’s clear that finding the right autobody and repair shop and building a relationship is an essential step in the repair process. You should look for an established brick-and-mortar collision and repair shop that has been in business for a long time and has a solid track record of satisfied customers. Success comes from good word-of-mouth referrals so the last thing a good shop needs is a bad reputation or reports of poor customer service. Look them up and see what their clients are saying.
Next, Consider the Repair
Auto body shops are supposed to restore cars to the standards of the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), but they know from experience that doing so is going to be prohibitively expensive. Instead, some don’t even consult the manufacturer’s specifications and fix the car according to time-tested methods. Those methods might not fix the car safely or completely. The best way for a consumer to make sure is to deal with collision and repair shops that are certified by their car’s manufacturer for body and paint repairs. By choosing a highly regarded and certified body shop in the first place you are guaranteed quality work.
Next, Ask About the Parts
To cut costs some shops will use aftermarket and not OEM parts. This is unacceptable and a car owner should not settle for it. The parts market uses “imitation” parts, made by aftermarket suppliers. The aftermarket industry says its products are built to industry standards and are as good as those produced by the OEMs but in actual fact they are not rigorously crash tested like the OEM’s and fit and finish is also inferior. That is not to say that aftermarket parts should not be used by all customers. They have their place and consumers should not always be hesitant to approve their use for older vehicles. But if your car is new and a premium brand should it not get OEM parts?
Next, The Autobody and Collision shop should act as your Advocate
A close relationship between an insurance company and an insurance preferred body shop puts the consumer at a disadvantage. Make sure you pick a collision facility that places your needs first, above the needs of the insurance company and their costs saving recommendations. The goal is to repair your car to the safe state it was before your collision or incident. No more discussion needed.
Lastly, Don’t Get Pushed to “Preferred” Auto Body Shops
It’s true, consumers place a lot of trust in their insurance companies to look out for their best interests. What most people don’t consider is that the insurance company is trying to minimize payouts. Insurance companies, therefore, steer clients to its “preferred” list of body shops, where they can control these collision repair facilities by promising them steady work in exchange for cost-cutting, discounts or kick-backs. Remember, you choose the autobody shop, period!
Legitimate Autobody and Collision shops are very concerned about getting good feedback and building a list of customers who will come back next time work is needed. Find those shops, work with them, and nine times out of 10, things will go smoothly.
One more thing:
If you receive pushback from an insurance broker, adjuster or the appraiser on your preferred auto body facility and they are persistent, I recommend that you let your shop of choice make the necessary arrangements with your insurance company to get the vehicle repaired. Let them do the leg work for you. They are very good at it.
Proud owner of Mitek Fine Autobody & Paint
Serving Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph and surrounding region since 1980
Your Fine Car Deserves our Fine Care