How to Choose the Right Auto Body Shop
At some point most drivers will need an auto body shop. There are over five million accidents per year that get reported, and many times, small fender benders do not. Yet, even if you are lucky enough to avoid collisions, there is also the threat of weather, rust, sunlight and other interferences that play havoc on your vehicle. Choosing the right auto body shop is something you should only have to do once. Go with the best the first time: have a go-to for yourself and a place to recommend to friends and family. This article explains how to do the selection process right, the first time.
The Basics: Insurance
Insurance is probably the main question. First, you do NOT have to use your insurance company’s auto body shop. You have the right to choose your own shop. Secondly, if you do choose your own shop, make sure to get repair warranties in writing.
These are common perks that you should be aware of. Most reputable shops will be willing to help you in these areas, which make the repair process that much easier for you.
- Free towing
- Courteously rides
- Loaner cars and rental programs
Online Reviews for Auto Body Shops
Most of us have our own philosophies regarding how we read and trust online reviews. Here are a few tips for auto body shops in particular:
You want to see before and after pics. These are happy customers who had their problem fixed and are excited to share with others. Make sure you can verify from the pics that the body shop in the background is the actual body shop and not a stolen photo. Palm trees in the background of a shop based in Colorado, for example, would be a dead giveaway.
Read a sample of positive, negative, and neutral reviews. Even the best businesses have a few negative reviews. What you’re looking for is an ongoing trend of bad behavior that has gone unaddressed by management. For example, going back years you see the same complaint over and over. Disqualify this company. Their management has not taken the feedback as an opportunity to improve their business.
Examine the profiles of the particular reviewers whom had an influence on you. If their review was that good or bad, make sure they are legitimate accounts. They should have consistency in their geography and the way they write. Just ask yourself, does this seem like a real person?
Check out their Social Media
Social media is a great way to get to know the company. From social media you can get a sense for how passionate the body shop is about their profession and their customers. At Quality Assured’s Facebook and Instagram pages we constantly post snaps of the work we’ve completed for happy customers – with their permission, of course!
Meet Our Auto Body Shop
Attention to Detail
If you go in for an estimate and find a disorganized and chaotic scene, then odds are that behavior is pervasive throughout the operation. Automotive shops by nature are not as clean as dentist offices, but there are still standards! Do you want this company to misplace a few important screws and forget to put them back in!
Each auto body shop estimate you get should be in writing, and most serious estimators will need to see the vehicle in person. For these reasons, gathering estimates and “shopping around” will be a significant investment of your time. You might not even have your car either! So consider your return on investment, but keep in mind the following:
- Estimates should be free
- The estimate should clearly separate parts versus labor
- Pick 2-4 shops and schedule your visits back-to-back – It’s an hour of two of your time that will likely pay off
Quality Assured Collision Center has been serving the Long Beach, CA community since 2004. We specialize in collision repair, body work, dent repair, car restoration, and mechanical work. We can offer towing, drop-off and pick-up and even perform a free 15-point inspection on your vehicle. As experts on all insurance situations, we will help guide you through the process and we work with all types of financing situations for those paying out of pocket.
Call us now or text us a picture of your vehicle to (562) 599-0766