You’re driving along in your new Buick LaCrosse, headed home from work and BOOM…
The next thing you know, you’ve been hit from the side by a teenager who decided that texting her friends was a whole lot more important than paying attention to the traffic light…
You get out of the car to find that the passenger side of your vehicle has been completely damaged. After exchanging insurance information and contacting the police, you drive home hoping to find a reputable collision repair shop that can restore your car to new without the hefty price tag.
Where Do You Turn for Service?
The only trouble is most car owners have no idea as to where to look for a collision repair shop (unless of course they’ve been in a few accidents). They basically select the first company they see online or in the yellow pages, only to be disappointed that they were somehow scammed out of their money, or were not satisfied with the services.
While it would be nice for all mechanics to be created equally, the truth of the matter is, they’re not. If you fail to do the research ahead of time, you may not be satisfied with the results.
Licensing and Certifications
California drivers should never take their vehicle to a repair shop that does not have qualified technicians on staff. Make sure that when searching for a Sacramento collision repair shop that you inquire about their licensing, certifications, and training. This goes for all cities, of course. If they can’t show you that they have this valid information, then basically, they’re not worth your business.
Experience is a Must
You probably wouldn’t take your child to a doctor that doesn’t have experience, so why would you take your vehicle to a collision repair mechanic that has never worked in the real world? Sure schooling and training gives some insight on what mechanics can expect, but there is nothing like actually having in the field experience. When searching for an auto body shop, find out how many years they’ve been in business and what types of repairs the specialize in.
You need your car to get you to where you need to be on the daily basis. When you take your vehicle in for an estimate you should not hesitate to ask how long the repairs might take. Depending on the extent of the damage, it may take a while; however, a reputable collision repair shop understands the inconvenience and will work diligently to return your car within a reasonable amount of time. If a shop tries to tell you it will take weeks on in, this could be a con to try and bill you for more man hours.
Of course a mechanic is going to say whatever may be necessary to get you to do business with them, but the customer opinion can be powerful. Look to reputable review sites such as Yelp, and Google to find out what consumers have to say about the company. Consumer Reports also offers great tips on checking out a mechanic such as asking friends or family members, and even utilizing the Better Business Bureau’s website. If you find a bunch of negative comments, this may be a red flag that you should move on to another company for service.
Quality of Service
Above all else is your own satisfaction. Pay attention as you interact with various collision repair shops for estimates and service information. Do they answer your calls timely? Do they have additional convenient services such as rental cars or affordable towing? Do they utilize the best equipment and techniques to maintain the original aesthetic value of your vehicle? Do they offer service warranties?
At the end of the day, it is extremely important that you take your time in finding a reputable collision repair shop in your area. Your vehicle was a significant purchase for you and a great asset to have… Why place it in the hands of an individual that will do more harm than good?