How to Choose an Auto Body Shop After an Accident

We know there are a lot of stressful elements to think about after getting in a collision. Once you’re safe and have contacted your insurance company, you’ll need to start thinking about repairing your vehicle.  Every body shop is different, from the techniques used for repairs, to communication, to the speed and efficiency of getting your car back to you. When you’re researching the best shops to have work done in your area, here are some points to think about.

How to Choose an Auto Body Shop After an Accident

How long do they estimate the repair process to be?

Their answer will depend on the extent of damage, the type of vehicle you have, and their availability to have your car in the shop. However, comparing turnover times from body shop to body shop can have a big impact on your decision.

Can they help you while you’re without a car?

While your vehicle is being repaired, you might need an alternate way of getting around. Some auto body shops have loaner or rental cars you can use while yours is in the shop, and other shops have a partnership with a local car rental company to help get you a reduced rate. 

Does the shop provide you with an estimate for your repairs?

Having an itemized estimate of all of the repairs that will take place, why they’re needed, and the cost of each repair is crucial in understanding what is going on with your vehicle and the budget you’ll need for a full repair. Some shops only give out a general estimate of the total cost, but you’ll want to look for a shop that will break down each repair for you. 

What kind of parts do they use?

Depending on your car, you might be looking for a certain type of parts to be used in your repair. If your vehicle is older or wasn’t in the best condition before the accident, you might not be as picky about the quality of the parts, and may want to settle for after-market or generic parts. On the other hand, if your car is newer or you want to protect the trade-in value of your car, you might want to invest in original manufacturer (OEM) parts that are sure to be safe and fit just right in your vehicle. If this is an important factor for you, look into whether a shop can provide you OEM parts before signing a work order with them. 

Does the shop have experience with cars like yours?

If you have a foreign make, a rare model, or a model that requires parts that are difficult to obtain, you might want to double check to ensure that the shop has experience working on cars of your make and model so that you know that they have the tools, equipment, and most importantly, the experience to adequately repair your type of car. For example, Graham Collision is Tesla Body Repair Certified, so we are fully equipped to make repairs to more unique cars, like Teslas. 

Do they provide a warranty?

A repair shop that doesn’t provide a warranty for their repairs can be a red flag in your search. Most shops guarantee their work to some degree, which is a quality you’ll want to be on the lookout for. If the shop you choose doesn’t give you a warranty and the repair job is done poorly, it can have a negative impact on the trade-in value of your vehicle. 

Does the shop assist with insurance claims?

The insurance claims process can be confusing and difficult, which auto body shops are very familiar with. Some shops, like Graham Collision, work with you and your insurance company to ensure your claim is accurate and updated throughout the repair process. 

What are the certifications of the shop or their technicians?

This is one of the most important things to look for when you choose your auto body shop to repair your vehicle. Certifications from I-CAR or ASA can give you a better outlook on the shop’s reputability, and helps you to know that the technicians are skilled in their specialty, whether it be painting, parts, or so on. warranty?

A repair shop that doesn’t provide a warranty for their repairs can be a red flag in your search. Most shops guarantee their work to some degree, which is a quality you’ll want to be on the lookout for. If the shop you choose doesn’t give you a warranty and the repair job is done poorly, it can have a negative impact on the trade-in value of your vehicle. 

Does the shop assist with insurance claims?

The insurance claims process can be confusing and difficult, which auto body shops are very familiar with. Some shops, like Graham Collision, work with you and your insurance company to ensure your claim is accurate and updated throughout the repair process. 

What are the certifications of the shop or their technicians?

This is one of the most important things to look for when you choose your auto body shop to repair your vehicle. Certifications from I-CAR or ASA can give you a better outlook on the shop’s reputability, and helps you to know that the technicians are skilled in their specialty, whether it be painting, parts, or so on.