After being involved in a car accident, one of the first things you’ll think about is getting your car repaired as quickly as possible. But taking your car to the first auto body shop you find would be a hasty decision. In order to find a reliable and reputable auto body shop, take time to do your research and ask questions so that you’ll receive high-quality auto body repair work for your vehicle.
Here are some questions and things to consider before allowing an auto body repair shop to repair your vehicle
1. Does the auto body repair shop have rental cars on their lot or do they provide loaner vehicles?
Being without a car is an inconvenience, so you’ll need to make sure that you have a rental, loaner or courtesy car while yours is in the shop. Some auto body repair shops have a car rental facility located in or near their shop. Other auto body repair shops may offer loaner or courtesy cars that can be used while they are repairing your car. If there is a pre-rental agreement, review it carefully – read the fine print. Take photos of the car before it leaves the shop & when you return it (honest shops will not object to this; it’s common practice in the age of Smartphones). Take note of the mileage as well.
2. How long will the auto body repair take?
This is the #1 question asked of all auto body shops. There is no hard and fast answer since each case is subjective. There are many factors related that can affect the length of repair time, including the extent of damage to your car, how busy the auto body repair shop is at that particular time, or even holidays during which the shop may be closed.
3. Will the paint match the rest of my car?
In most cases, cars have a paint code on a plate located either in a door jamb, under the hood, or in the trunk. This paint code will give the exact color of the manufacturer’s paint. Make sure the auto body repair shop will be using the same exact color of paint and not a similar color.
4. How soon can you wash your car after an auto body repair?
An auto body repair shop usually returns your car back to you clean. They may have already washed it or waited for the paint to dry so that you can drive your car immediately after the repair. Still, it is important to know whether it is safe to take your car to a car wash that uses friction brushing or a touch-free car wash with acid presoaks and super concentrated car wash soap soon after a fresh paint job.
5. Does the auto body repair shop have any certifications?
Certifications, such as I-CAR and ASE, are a good sign of a reputable auto body repair shop. A certification usually means that the auto body repair shop has the skills and knowledge required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs. Get more info about what you need to know about towing safety here.