Auto Body Shop
3 minutes

If you own a vehicle, it’s pretty inevitable that, at some point, you’ll need to visit an auto body shop. Perchance, a reckless driver runs into you. Or maybe your little ones think it nice to etch the ‘I love mummy’ writings on the side.

Whatever your reasons, knowing how to find a good auto body shop can go a long way. Here are some tips to help you find one around where you live.

Shop around for the best deal

Studies show that about 34% of all auto repair shops are body shops. With that number out there, it’s safe to say you’ll have a rich list to pick from. So, when you’re out looking, prioritise these tips: [1]

  • Don’t settle for the first quote you receive. Call at least three different body shops and explain the repairs needed to your car. This will give you a good idea of the average price range for the job.
  • While price is important, consider the services included in the estimate. Does one shop offer a complimentary car wash or loaner car? These additional perks can be valuable.
  • A good estimate should be clear and easy to understand. It should break down the cost of labour, parts, and materials. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if anything seems unclear.

Say, someone ran into you. In that case, you should narrow down on experts offering high-quality collision repairs or other services you may need. These pros could help with restoration, auto body refinishing, towing, and much more, depending on your situation. Make sure whoever you settle for is the perfect fit for your needs and budget.

Ask your network

Over 90% of people take recommendations from their circle more seriously than they do any company’s messaging. The odds are high that your circle will recommend pros they’ve worked with before and can vouch for. [2]

Here’s how to make the most of word-of-mouth recommendations:

  • Have any of your contacts had bodywork done on their car recently? If so, ask them about their experience. Were they happy with the quality of the repairs? Did the shop get the car back to them on time and within budget?
  • If someone you know recommends a shop, mention the make and model of your car to see if the shop has experience working on similar vehicles. Not all body shops specialise in all types of cars.

Don’t just rely on a yes or no answer. Ask your contacts for specifics about the shop such as what impressed them about the service or if there’s anything they would have done differently.

Consult online resources

Here’s how to use online resources to find a good auto body shop:

Review Websites

Look for shops in your area with a good overall rating and positive customer reviews. Read through them to get a sense of the shop’s strengths and weaknesses.

Focus on Recent Reviews

Reviews carry a lot of water. That’s why 99.9% of people look them up before committing to a service. When you visit these websites, pay more attention to recent reviews. These ones are likely to reflect the shop’s current performance. [3]

Don’t just focus on the star rating. Read the actual comments to see what past customers liked (or disliked) about their experience.

Look out for certifications and guarantees

Certifications and guarantees can help you choose the right body shop. Here’s how:

  • Look for shops certified by organisations like the Vehicle Body Repair Association (VBRA) or the National Body Repair Association (NBRA). With these certifications, you can be pretty sure that the shop meets certain industry standards in areas including training, equipment, and customer service.
  • It’s not mandatory (but definitely a huge plus) for body shops to have technicians certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). They offer certifications in various collision repair areas, showcasing the technician’s expertise.
  • A good car body shop will stand behind its work with a clear and comprehensive warranty. This warranty should cover things like the quality of repairs, paintwork, and any parts used.

Getting these elements right increases the odds of getting the best possible auto body shop in your area.

Assess the shop’s professionalism

Now that you have a shortlist of potential shops, it’s time to take a closer look. Here’s how to assess a shop’s professionalism during your visit:

  • A clean, organised shop with well-maintained equipment is a good sign. Pay attention to how you’re greeted by the staff. Are they friendly and courteous?
  • During your consultation, explain the damage to your car and ask questions. A good shop will listen attentively, explain the repair process clearly, and address your concerns openly.

FYI: If a shop seems too eager to give you a quick and incredibly cheap quote, be cautious. Quality repairs take time and quality materials.

In closing

When it comes to your car, you’ve got to know how to find a good auto body shop for quality repair services. Focus on these tips, and you’ll end up with experts who are a tight fit for your needs and budget.

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