You may often search the internet for “auto body shops near me,” but do you know what to even look for when deciding which auto shop to choose? You should pay attention to certain things that the different auto body shops offer.
East End Body Shop in Huntington, West Virginia, offers a variety of services including
mobile claims management, interest-free financing, auto body repair, frame repair, collision repair, auto painting, glass repair, automotive detailing, auto mechanical repair, automotive claims, insurance repair work, and auto body paint.
What to look for when searching for an auto body shop
1. Take word-of-mouth into consideration
You may find several advertisements for a few big companies, but those are not always your best option. You may find a small business that your friends and family recommend that will do a better quality job. Small auto shop businesses tend to care more about their customers because they have a smaller clientele, and the owner may even be the one working on your car personally.
The personal experience you receive at auto body shops is just as important as the pricing and time frame of the repair.
2. Get several estimates done
Don’t settle for the first auto shop you find when searching “body shops near me.” If you want to avoid an auto shop overcharging you for a repair, it’s smart to take your car to a few different shops to get a quote from each one.
You should not necessarily go for the cheapest one either. If an auto shop gives you a super cheap quote compared to the other shops, that may be a red flag that they are not going to fix it correctly. Be willing to spend money on the repair but not necessarily spend the most.
3. Be observant of the shop
When you visit the shop, pay attention to the traffic and how clean and organized it is. If the shop seems to never have customers, it may be because people have had bad experiences with it. If the place is cluttered, dirty or disorganized, that might reflect what kind of work you can expect them to do on your car. It is also nice to find an auto shop with friendly mechanics. It’s never going to be a good experience if you are dealing with a grouchy mechanic working on your car.
Another sign of a good auto body shop is if they have certifications. If the shop does, they often hang them framed in the waiting area, so you can see them. This can be a good sign that it’s a reputable auto body shop.
4. Consider the auto body shop’s location
If you live in a bigger city, chances are when you look for “auto body shops near me,” you will find the big chain auto body shops that will charge more per hour for labor, which can really rack up your total cost. If you want to avoid a higher labor cost, you can find a shop that is a little bit outside of your city or a smaller business auto body shop.
5. Be sure to ask the necessary questions
When searching for “auto body shops near me” to repair your car, be sure to find out all of the necessary information regarding the work they will do.
- What kind of warranty comes with the repair work?
- How long will the warranty last and what will it cover?
- How long will the auto repair take?
- This will depend on the extent of the damage and if the auto body shop has the parts needed to repair the damage
- Does the auto body shop offer rental cars or loaner vehicles?
- If you are going to be without a car for an extended amount of time, you may want to ask if the shop has a rental facility on or near the property that they will arrange a rental for you.
- Is your car covered while it’s in the shop?
- Does the auto body shop carry fire and theft insurance in case your car is damaged, destroyed, stolen or burglarized while it’s in the shop?
- Will the paint match the rest of your car?
- Cars usually have a paint code on a plate located in a door jam, under the hood, or in the trunk so you know the exact color if it needs to be repainted. Be sure the auto body shop has that color in stock and isn’t going to use one that is similar
- How soon can you wash your car after a repair?
- Especially after a paint job, it’s good to know if there is any restrictions on the next time you can wash your car.
- What is the payment policy?
- Payment policies may include rates of labor, cost of materials, warranty information, guarantees, and forms of payment they accept. Be sure to know all of this information before having them repair your car
A lot more goes into finding an auto body shop to repair your car than you may think. So before settling on the first shop you find when searching for “auto body shops near me,” be sure to take all of the above tips into consideration.