In many areas you can pick the body shop for which you want your car repaired. Many people have no idea they can do this. They usually take it to the body shop the adjuster of the insurance company tells them too. Picking the best body shop for fixing your car is tough to say the least.
Finding the best Body Shops to fix your car
There are good body shops that do excellent work, and then there are some that are not as good. The quality of work you expect from your body shop should be excellent. The type of repair also can come into plays as far as quality. You may have an item replaces such as a bumper or a fender, or they may just repair it. Body Shops are allotted time, much like a mechanic on flag time to repair and replace items on a damaged car.
Reviews tell a lot about a Body Shop and the quality of their work. However, many people don’t understand the challenges involved in fixing a damaged car. So take reviews for how good a body shop is with little weight, unless they are all bad.
Family & Friends
Family’s who have young driver may have a body shop on retainer much like an attorney. Insurance rates on young drivers are expensive. So, many Families just pay cash to a body shop to avoid filing a claim. These folks are going to know has the best body shop in town to fix your car.
Insurance adjusters are going to refer to a DRP that works with them. A DRP is direct repair facility. These Body Shops repair your car in the way the insurance company wants it repaired. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a good repair. In most cases, it has a lifetime warranty. I personally don’t like DRP’s.
Get several estimates
If you have a personal injury case, you may want several estimates. Furthermore, in some instances the estimates can range from several dollars to hundreds. Its always wise to ask if it is a complete estimate or will there be a supplement. You may want to ask if they are using new factory parts, re manufactured, or used.
Questions to ask the body shop
Get several estimates from body shops, but don’t compare them too harshly. Sometimes adjusters miss things to put on the estimate while others catch it. Your car will still be fixed properly, they will just a supplement.
Does the shop have a lifetime warranty?
Most reputable body shops will over a lifetime warranty on the performed on your car. In some instances it will transfer when you sell the car. However, in most cases it does not. This lifetime warranty covers the body shops work to the structure, panels, etc. On the other hand, it will not cover mechanic parts, such as radiators, condensers, axles, etc.
Do they have experience working on your type of car?
Do you have a Porsche or Tesla? You may need to find a body shop that specializes in these types of cars. Most body shops can fix any car, but some cars are put together completely different from what we would call a mass production automobile. There are specialized body shops who fix nothing but these rare cars.
How long have they been in business?
I have seen body shops come and go. If they are offering a life time warranty with their work, but they close down next week, what do you do? Only the strong with survive in this industry. So stick with a shop that has been open for more than 5 years. If they have made it through five years, they will probably be around for a while. 10 years or more is much better.
Have they worked with your insurance company before?
Most shops will work with any insurance company. They do not have to be a DRP to fix your car because you have state farm. In most cases, you just take your car to the shop of your choice, give them a claim number and they take care of everything else. Your insurance company may have stipulations on how they fix your car. They may repair your front bumper instead of replacing it to save money.
What is the likelihood that the estimate will go up once the repairs have started?
That depends on the damage done to your car. If you have a scratch or dent on your bumper, more than likely it won’t go up. If you have serious damage that requires disassembly, the estimate will go up in the form of a supplement. You as a customer never have to worry about this. The body shop deals with the insurance company directly on the extra damage. If you were paying out of pocket, you would want them to do a very thorough estimate.
What is a DRP or direct repair facility
A direct repair facility has contracts with insurance companies. They fix cars the way the insurance company wants them to. In most cases these repairs have a lifetime warranty. A DRP will have you in a rental car pretty quick. An adjuster may suggest you take your car to a DRP, but you don’t have too. You can choose any body shop you wish to have your car repaired.
Picking the best body shop
Picking the best body shop for you vehicle repair is not that hard with the right tools in place. If you chose a shop that is not a direct repair facility, that does not mean the work will be non satisfactory. Most reputable body shops have a lifetime repair warranty no matter if they are a DRP or not. All body shops will work with just about any insurance carrier.