A Guide for Choosing the Right Auto Body Shop
It is common to see the estimates of different body shops varying wildly. You may get an estimate of $500 from a particular workshop while another would request $1, 200 for the same job. Now, you might probably be wondering why there's such a difference and if you should just go for the one with a cheaper rate.
In situations like this, what should be your guiding principle is to go for a body shop with a reputation of delivery regardless of the rate. Choosing a reliable garage will help you avoid the hassles of having to come back for rectification of a poorly done job.
In this instance, you will have little or no choice other than to return to the first place whether or not you are comfortable with the initial services rendered.
We have put together some tips to help you choose the right body workshop to work on your car.
Tips for Choosing the Right Auto Body Shop
Below are some of the tips we promised to share with you:
It is a normal practice for businesses to advertise their services, which of course they will do with only positive slants. Since you are paying the bills, it is important that you start by looking for a place that your close friends and acquaintances recommended. This is because they must have used their services and can attest to their credibility and delivery.
Most times, the shops they recommend may not be the most popular. It might just be a case of the owners not being interested in so much publicity due to their concentration on important aspects of business such as customer satisfaction. These kinds of garages usually have their owners working on the cars themselves and you are sure of getting the best most times.
Location and Overhead Cost
Body shops located in highbrow areas are most likely to charge higher than those in suburbs or remote areas. It is expedient that you consider the location of the place you want to use before you engage their services as labor charges vary according to location.
Additionally, a large auto works center which has a number of front-desk workers will probably charge higher rates to offset their huge salary load. While having front-office workers gives some customers a feeling of trust in the business, it has the tendency of resulting in unnecessary overhead costs which rubs off on the prices of their services.
For body shops, so many non-essential workers are not necessarily needed and if you find them in a shop, you should know that the price will definitely reflect their staff strength. It will be apt to avoid shops in this category as they may not be the best fit for your budget except if you have a robust financial plan for the body work.
Get Several Estimates
The best strategy to use when you want to get the best pricing for auto body work is to take the car to several body shops. While embarking on this tour, try to note the price from each place and outline their relevance to your course.
While it is important to guide against getting overcharged for services rendered, you shouldn't go for the lowest quotation. Most times places that offer very cheap prices may be missing something very essential and you definitely do not want this for your car. The outcome most times is usually a major problem while driving on the road.
Ask Critical Questions
One of the ideal ways to choose a body shop is to make adequate enquiries. Go to their office with confidence and ask important questions. Ask if they provide a written service contract and the validity of such arrangements. You also need to know what the warranty covers.
A one-year warranty should be the least possible you will accept. There are places that offer a two-year warranty for complete body work while some others offer lifelong warranties which most times is not realistic. It is worthy to note that some of those long validity warranties come with restrictions that are very difficult to adhere to and they inadvertently become useless.
Another important question you need to ask is whether they offer fire and theft insurance. You need to be sure what becomes your fate if your car gets destroyed, burgled or even stolen. This point is so important that as you can see here, some car owners will only use shops recommended by their insurance companies.
You should also ask how long they have been in business as this will give you an idea of how much experience they have acquired.
There is also the issue of licensing. Enquire about their business license and make efforts to verify it on your own.
When you have concluded with the preliminary questions, it will be apt to ask about what kind of resources the body shop intends to use. Find out if they are never been used aftermarket body parts.
You will agree that fresh parts are definitely the best although their prices are usually on the high side. Recycled parts can also be ideal especially if the damage is not much. If paint work will be involved, ask the number of clear coat and coats of paint that will be used. The knowledge of all these will guide you in making the right decision for your car.
Follow Your Instincts
Finally, regardless of what you might have been told about a particular body shop, it is important that you follow your instincts especially if you have a good record with it.
There are several reasons a shop may not be getting high patronage. It could be the materials they use or their mode of responding to customers. All these can affect the recommendations they get. You may have to personally deal with them to find out for yourself if it's a good decision to go ahead.
For more on how to find the right body shop for your vehicle, you can check here: https://mechanicbase.com/paint/choosing-the-right-auto-body-shop/.
Beyond the tips that are relevant for making a choice of the best body shop, the onus of choosing which one suits your needs still rests entirely on you. It is important that you take precautionary measures while selecting a body shop to ensure that you get the quality of work that you desire.