Picking the Right Body Shop

So you’ve had a collision. Maybe it’s a big one that will require a lot of work or maybe it’s just a ding that still needs attention. You need to pick a high quality body shop that will do a good job at the right price and will have you back on the road when promised. Always pick a body repair shop that will get your car back as it was pre-collision—just the way you want it.

When you’re at a high quality body shop, the shop manager should outline all the steps it will take to get you back on the road again. One of the most important considerations is that they walk you through the ins and outs of collision repair. This way, you will know what to expect and when to expect it. Every step in the repair process should be explained properly so nothing unexpected pops up during the job and, more importantly, nothing extra is added to the cost without your knowledge and say so.

Another consideration is the factory certification of the repair shop. The importance of factory certification cannot be stressed enough. If you use a repair shop that is not approved by the dealer, how do you know the job will be done properly? The repair shop earns factory certification by continuous staff training, use of correct parts and job completion of the highest standards. By using a factory certified shop, you know the job will be done exactly as the manufacturer requires.

The repair shop should also be able to answer all of your questions. Their knowledge, gained over many years, means that nothing is new to them. The staff should be able to give you answers to put your mind at ease that these are people you can trust. If the shop cannot answer your questions then you need to wonder why. Customers ask all sorts of questions; a good repair shop should have all the answers.

It may seem obvious but another important question is in what condition will my car be when I get it back? You do not want to trust your repair to a shop only to be disappointed with the finished job. Ask them for before and after pictures of previous repair jobs. A good shop will always be proud to show you their work. If they cannot give you a clear idea of what the finished job will look like or provide you with pictures of previous jobs, then take your business elsewhere.

The following is a quick checklist you can use when choosing a high quality body shop:

What are the Ins and Outs of Collison Repair?
Get them to explain to you the details of their collision repair process so you will know exactly what to expect when dealing with the shop and exactly what you should expect from the repair job on your car. Every step along the way should be clearly explained: how they do a job, what parts they use and how they will keep you informed during the process.

Are they Factory Certified?
It may seem obvious but not everybody realizes how important is to pick a shop that has factory certification. Whether your car is a Ford, a GM, a Nissan or another brand, the shop should know how to repair it and exactly which parts to use. The finished job should be of the highest quality and match all requirements demanded by the factory certification process.

Can they Answer All of Your Questions?
You are worried about your car—who wouldn’t be after a serious collision? Customers ask questions all day, every day, and a good repair shop should have all the answers. Their highly trained and experienced staff should know it is their job to guide you through the repair process and keep you informed every step of the way.

What will the Finished Car Look Like?
Ask what you should expect from the repair job. What will the car be like when you get it back? Will it drive the way it did before your accident? Will the paint job match the rest of the body? The repair shop should have a program that will engage with you so you won’t be left in doubt as what to expect when you come to collect your car.

Picking the right body shop is a big decision. Pick one that you feel good about from the moment you walk in the door, one that will do the job as promised and keep to the highest standards. If you are not happy from day one, do not use that body shop.