Now, about that dent from the parking lot. Or that scrape when your teenager misjudged the garage door. Or that scratch when your kid climbed on the hood to reach the basketball hoop. Or that fender bender on the way to work.
It usually happens in an instant but fixing that ding, dent or scrape can be costly and time-consuming. Deciding where to have the work done can make all the difference in your satisfaction with the repair. As well, poor auto body repair in our Akron area will also reduce your ability to sell or trade in your car for a top price later. That’s why it’s crucial to educate yourself before you entrust your car to an autobody repair shop. These five things will help you choose the right bodywork shop:
- Know that YOU have the right to make that decision. Your insurance company will likely have preferred vendors that they work with but the insurance company cannot require that you have the repairs made at a certain body shop, direct repair shop or through their DRP (direct repair program). They usually have a contractual agreement with these facilities. Remember, the body shop is fixing YOUR vehicle for YOU, not the insurance company! Yes, your insurer might pay the bill, but most states like Ohio prohibit the insurer from requiring you use a particular shop—that means, ultimately, the body shop is YOUR CHOICE.
- Choose a body shop carefully. You want to make sure you have quality work at a reasonable price and any available warranty to cover the work. There are several ways to get an objective perspective on Akron area body shops.
- Ask about the shop’s certifications and associations. Ask if they have the I-CAR Gold Class
- Find out about their team. Do they have experienced, well-trained staff?
- Check the Better Business Bureau.
- Ask family and friends for a referral to a shop.
- Visit the auto body shop you’re considering – is it clean and organized?
- Visit their website – is it professional in appearance? Does it give you a feeling of trust and competence? Does it help address your concerns and provide an easy way to contact them?
- Find out about their history and business practices. Are they well-established in the community?
- Ask for previous customer reviews or testimonials.
- Get all estimates in writing. Make sure to spell out exactly what will be done, what parts will be used, how paints will be chosen, and of course what time frame is needed to complete the repair.
While car bodywork repair can seem like a scary process, it helps to be well informed and proactive when taking your car in for repairs. By following the advice above, you’ll have a much better chance of finding a quality shop and getting the repairs done right.