Your car has been in a fender-bender, or a serious accident. Or perhaps it’s nothing major — you’re simply tired of dents and scrapes detracting from your car’s overall appearance.
Whatever the reason for your quest; one thing is for sure: You need to select the best body shop possible.
Why trust your car to sloppy workmanship that won’t last? Getting perfect body repairs starts with selecting the perfect body shop.
As with any industry, there are body shops that employ poorly trained technicians and use inferior quality materials. The shortcuts they take may not be immediately apparent, but they’ll show up soon enough. And it may be too late . . . leaving you with regrets and frustration.
Following these tips for choosing the perfect body shop will have you on your way to a great finished product.
Ask for recommendations
The most reliable indicator of future quality work is prior quality work. And the most telling indicator of prior quality work is satisfied customers.
Your friends, co-workers, and neighbors can provide you with unbiased opinions of body shops they have used. You can always take a look at their vehicles to see for yourself how well the repairs have held up. If an insurance company was involved in authorizing the repairs, that’s another sign. Insurance companies are highly intolerant of substandard workmanship from the auto body repair shops they authorize.
Check the certifications
Don’t assume every auto body repair shop has certified technicians working on all cars. You need to ask specifically whether the staff is ASE Certified. ASE-certified technicians have at least 2 years experience and have passed a minimum of one of 40 exams offered.
Don’t be shy about asking for the specific qualifications of each person who will be working on your vehicle. After all, do you really want someone in training working on your car?
Take a tour
Check out the premises to determine if it’s neat and orderly. How a business is organized is a strong indicator of the staff’s overall sense of pride and professionalism. A body shop allowed to run in a haphazard manner is likely to produce sloppy results on your car.
While you’re at it, take a look at the cars that have recently been completed. Craftsmen who care about their work and produce high quality results will be more than happy to show you their finished products.
Don’t just ask the body shop for a list of references. It’s too easy for them to give you only the satisfied customers — or friends and relatives who will provide glowing (biased!) reviews. To get a real idea of how reputable they are, ask for the list of the past 5 customers along with dates. They should reflect recent dates, which will ensure the current quality of work is up to par. Take the time to check the references. Were there any surprises on the final bill? Was the work completed on time? As them to describe their overall experience, from start to finish.
Make sure the work is guaranteed
Top-notch auto body repair shops are happy to guarantee their work – in fact, its standard operating procedure. A five year guarantee is reasonable. You should be wary of shorter guarantees, or a reluctance to offer any guarantee at all. This is basically a statement that the shop is unwilling to stand behind their work.
Ready to find the perfect body shop?
Finding the perfect body repair shop is something every savvy consumer can (and should) do. For most people, the car is a major investment worth maintaining with care.
Asking the right questions and doing your homework is well worth the time and effort. These steps will ensure the result you are looking for: A flawless repair job that will have your car looking like new again.