What to Ask About Auto Body & Paint Services
A car is a complicated piece of machinery that requires professional, experienced technicians to repair back to original manufacturer specifications. When an auto accident happens, where do you go to get them fixed? Auto body repair shops, much like cars, are not all created equal. You wouldn’t just go to any car lot and pick the nearest car, so why would you do that to repair it? It’s important to go into your repair with the appropriate questions, to find out if this company is right for you. Here are seven questions you should ask before you make that decision.
1. What do people say about The Professional Auto Body Works?
We are living in the era of online reviews. Thanks to the internet, everyone’s voice can be heard – at least seen about their user experience with an auto collisiona and repair shop. Before settling on a shop, read the customer reviews and feedback about the company and their technicians. Did people have a positive experience? Did the shop employee’s communicate with you while your car is being repaired? Additionally, these reviews may enlighten you about additional services while you care is being repaired. For example, does the shop send you update photos of your car while in the repair facility or send text messages.
2. How long will the repair take?
This will likely be one of your first questions, but it’s worth mentioning. There are many factors that go into how long a repair will take, so ask the shop about their estimation. This time can vary due to the time of year (such as near holidays), the extent of the damage, or the amount of already existing jobs that must be finished before yours begins.
3. Are there rental cars available?
Being without your car is an inconvenience, being without any car is often impossible. Some auto body repair shops have loaner vehicles that you can use while your car is being repaired, and if not they may have a rental car agency in shop or nearby. Before you make any arrangements of your own, see if you can get a car through the shop.
4. What kind of paint will be used?
As you probably already know, you can’t just say to “paint it red” and expect the same shade of red to come out. Ask the repair shop if they have checked the paint code on the car (this could be located either under the hood, in a door jamb, or in the trunk), and if they are using the exact same color of paint. You don’t want splotches all over your car of paint that was “close enough.” Moreover, and this is a question that not everyone thinks about after a car repair, you need to be informed about when you can wash your car. The process is not quite over once you drive your car away from the shop. The repair shop may give you a clean car, but you need to check about when getting a car wash won’t damage the new paint.
5. What certifications does this shop have?
Auto body repair shops must prove their skills and knowledge in order to receive certifications. Check and see what certifications the repair shop possesses, such as I-CAR and ASE, in order to be sure that the shop can perform safe and reliable repairs.
6. What kind of coverage can I expect?
There are two parts to this question: warranty and insurance. Check if the shop has a warranty and ask about the details. How long does it last? What exactly does it cover? You should also separately ask about things like fire and theft insurance. You want to be assured that if any unforeseen accident were to happen to your car while it was in the shop, such as theft or damage, that you’re covered.
7. How do I pay?
Last but not least: payment. Arguably one of the most important questions, make sure to ask your auto body repair shop how they price out repairs. Some will charge a flat fee whereas others might have an hourly amount. Policies may also include different aspects, such as warranty information, labor rates and materials. Be sure to check on their acceptable forms of payment, to make sure that how you want to pay is available. Shops should have this posted, but make sure to ask to get full details. Don’t be afraid to ask for this information in writing, and when you later get the itemized bill, ask about any discrepancies you may find.