How to find a trust worthy body shop?

by Curtis Nixon - Fri, Jul 4, 2014 7:14 AM

Now that you survived an auto accident finding a trust worthy body shop is extremely important.

Consider these thoughts for finding a trustworthy body shop, compiled from our team's research with many auto body experts and insurance pros who have high consumer ratings:

  • When exploring  possible choices for selecting a qualified auto body shop look for a collision facility with staff certified by such industry organizations as I-CAR, ASE, Verifacts and/or Society of Collision Repair Speicilists. A shop may also have certification from a state organization and specific vehicle manufacturers.
  • Discover the warranty policy: Be cautious of an auto body shop that doesn't provide a lifetime warranty on its work, no matter whether you or your insurance company are paying the repair bill. A typical warranty may cover workmanship in full and may cover parts failure subject to vendors' warranties.
  • You have a choice: It's quite likely that your insurance company will recommend a particular shop or list of shops with whom it has negotiated lower rates and discounted parts. Many Insurance are highly qualified repair professionals although the final choice is yours. It is important to know you have the right to use another shop if you wish. Also, if you have any concerns about an insurer-recommended facility, you can inquire about that shop's certifications, review and other qualifications, as well as details about what kind of parts will be used to repair your vehicle.

Keep in mind that the shop is working for you, the vehicle owner, and not the insurance company. It's a conflict of interest for a shop to confuse the relationship, but highly-rated auto shop pros say it happens. The daily pressure of over head expenses can cloud the intent.

More questions to ask:

  • Know what parts will be utilized on your vehicle: aftermarket, used or original factory parts? Many say original factory parts are better for the car and often recommended by the manufacturer. Used parts may be original parts from a vehicle of same year and make that was totaled yet some parts removed from areas that were not damaged.
  • Compared what other body shops charge for the same work? Especially if you'll be paying for the repair work yourself, get estimates before agreeing to any work. But make sure that the companies you compare are equal in terms of experience, reputation and the kinds of parts used
  • Does the shop have experience working on your type of car? Compare customer verified reviews with similar makes.
  • How long will the repair take? Cycletime is important to reduce rental expense, although always remember quality workmanship should never be rushed to the extent of sacrificing safety.
  • Does facility have a history of satisfying customers? Check out online verified reviews from a trusted source. Many sites allow for non verified postings, such as Yelp. This can lead to misleading comments from competing businesses, disgrunted past employees or customers who wanted unacceptable discounts such as waiving an insuance deductible.