How to Choose the Right Body Shop

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Even the safest drivers can get into an accident, especially if you drive your car on a daily basis. But, hopefully, after an accident the damage isn’t too bad and your vehicle isn’t deemed a total loss by your insurance company. If the car isn’t totaled, repairs are usually an option, but body work can be fairly costly. This is why insurance is important to have, as it will help cover the expenses. Choosing the right place to get the work done can be another challenge, but by following these steps, the whole process should go a lot smoother.

Part 1 of 2: Compare multiple repair shops

This part of the process can vary slightly depending on the cause of the damage. But, regardless of the damage, you should get input from multiple shops, unless you are going somewhere you absolutely trust.

Step 1: Find out if the damage is covered by the other party’s insurance. If another driver caused the damage and has insurance to pay for it, expect their insurance to spend as little as possible.

Even small dents in the bumper can damage the absorption material underneath, weakening it for any future collisions. This is why it’s important to have everything checked out under the bumper skin instead of just replacing the damaged area.

In many states, the insurance company has to go with your choice if you are not satisfied with what they decide to do, so be sure to use this to your advantage to get the job done right.

Step 2: Find out if the accident can be covered by your insurance. You’ll want to follow similar guidelines if you are the one paying for repairs.

If the other party does not have insurance or the accident was your fault, you have to rely on your insurance company to take care of any damaged vehicles. Not only do you want to find a good price, but you want to make sure the correct repairs are being performed.

Step 2: Compare prices. If two different places are telling you different things, take it to a third shop to get the damage checked out again and see what they say.

This way, if two of the three places are recommending similar repairs, you have more confidence in your decision of where to get the damage fixed.

Part 2 of 2: Research your car and the repair shops you’ve chosen

Once you have a few repair shops that you are interested in, it is time to choose a shop to take your damaged vehicle to. Other considerations include the distance of the repair shop from your home or office, what the repair normally costs compared to what the repair shop is asking, and the amount of time each repair shop expects it to take to fix your vehicle.

Image: Yelp

Step 1: Look up body shops near you. Using Google Maps or another mapping program, check to see which repair shops are closest to your location.

If you do not have access to the Internet, use your local Yellow Pages to find a list of shops. You can also call the repair shops you are interested in to determine their location. You should also ask your friends, family, and coworkers if they have any repair shops they recommend.

Keep in mind, just about every body shop will have a Yelp or Google page where you can look at comments and reviews about the particular shop. Use these resources to help make your decision of where to get your vehicle fixed.

It might be better to spend a little more money on a higher-rated shop so you know that the work gets done correctly.

Step 2: Know roughly how much it should cost. Research your vehicle a little bit as well.

Chances are, someone else out there with the same kind of car has had similar damage to yours and has posted somewhere about it. Their experience can help you determine what kind of repairs should be performed and if the estimates you’ve received compare to what they paid.

Part 2 of 2: Find out the types of materials being used for the repair

In addition to the overall cost, you should also find out what kind of parts and materials are being used for the repair. Most repair shops should repair your vehicle to the point that any damage from an accident is not evident.

Step 1: Check the paint used. You want to make sure the shop is using a high-quality paint that will stand the test of time.

Most shops should be using a good quality brand, but it’s good to know exactly what’s being used on your car. Typically, you’ll want to go for any blending options that help match the newly painted parts to the rest of the old paint.

Step 2: Check the replacement parts. As for any pieces being replaced on the body, the OEM is usually the best option, but there may be less-expensive alternatives.

It is possible to pull bumpers off of junked cars if they are in good shape, but this depends on availability.

Finding the right body shop to repair damage to your vehicle requires you to spend some time researching the repair shops in your area, how much they want to charge for the repair, and how much the repair usually costs. Using that information, you can make an informed decision about which body shop is best for you. If you need any advice on how to get body damage repaired on your vehicle, Ask a Mechanic for some quick, useful advice to help determine your options.


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Rigoberto

9 years of experience
706 reviews
Rigoberto
9 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Niles, Illinois
Rigo was great! He got there early, finished the job early, left everything clean. He changed my rear pads and rotors. The original quoted time was 90 minutes, he was done in about 60. He knows what he is doing and I am recommending him to all my friends and coworkers.
Mercedes-Benz C250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Chicago, Illinois
Rigo is a maverick hands down. Don’t take your car for work elsewhere. Especially great at Mercedes—this guy knows his profession! I will be using him for everything related to my car going forward.

Arturo

25 years of experience
35 reviews
Arturo
25 years of experience
Kia Forte - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
ARTURO is great! very professional , fast, replaced my front brake pads and oil an filter change. everything now works and works well. Brakes have much improved stopping power and engine is smooth and quiet.Arturo is also kind and thoughtful. "Your mechanic" is very fortunate to have Arturo Lopez represent your company. I enthusiastically recommend him and "Your mechanic> as a fine operation Best regards to the Team Peter Marto
Nissan Maxima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Diego, California
Arturo was prompt and completed my brake repair, including new rotors in a very efficient manner. I am very pleased with the quality of the work and the parts and will definitely look to have him service our other car in the near future.

Scott

32 years of experience
345 reviews
Scott
32 years of experience
Lexus IS250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Always on time, speedy, professional, and pleasant to interact with. The work is always consistent and we'll done. I can't reccomend Scott highly enough!

Michael

10 years of experience
15 reviews
Michael
10 years of experience
Nissan Sentra - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Conyers, Georgia
He was promptly on time and got the job done efficiently in a timely manner. I really appreciate the rapid respone on getting the job done! I would most definitely use this service again.

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