10 Questions to Ask an Auto-Body Repair Shop
You never know when your car or truck is going to be involved in an accident. Try as hard as you can to avoid them, accidents do tend to happen from time to time. Thankfully, most vehicles can be repaired as long as the damage caused is not too extensive. At the same time, you need a collision specialist to work on the vehicle in order to ensure that the work is done properly and to your satisfaction. You do not want to trust your car or truck to just any auto-body repair shop. With that in mind, here are 10 ten questions that you should ask a repair shop prior to selecting one to do the work.
What Should I Know About This Auto-Body Repair Shop?
This is a question that you can work out the answers to on your own. Do your homework online and learn everything that you can about the shop. What are people saying about it? You can look through the reviews that have been published online. You also know what type of services will be offered. Along with this, you can look for answers to the following three questions that will help you determine what type of auto-body repair shop this actually is. Those questions are:
- Does the shop send me emails or text messages to update me on the status of my repair?
- Will I be able to go online to inquire about the status of my repair?
- Will the shop help arrange me a car to borrow, either online or through a car rental agency that they are affiliated with?
The answers to these questions that you find out on your own will help you determine if you want to seriously consider this collision specialist to work on your vehicle or not. If you like what you find out, then contact the shop and begin asking the next nine questions on this list.
What Kind of Warranty Comes With Your Auto Body Repair Work?
It is often difficult to know right away if the repair that has been performed on your car is going to last or not. Vehicles do not always speak to you in that way very well, so it is important to have a warranty on all major work that is performed. It might just be a limited warranty, in which case you will have to gauge the possibility that the repair might not last very long against the reality that you might have to pay even more money after the fact to fix it. If the shop does offer a warranty, inquire about the terms, including how long it is for and what it actually covers.
Rental or Loaner Vehicles?
Some repairs can take a long time to complete. In the meantime, you will obviously be without the use of your vehicle. This is inconvenient, so it is helpful if the shop will offer you a loaner car while yours is being worked on. If that does not happen, then hopefully they will at least help to facilitate a rental. If you are lucky enough to get a loaner car, make sure that you look through the details of the agreement including how many miles you are permitted to drive.
How Long Will the Auto-Body Repair Take?
This is obviously an important question to ask. There is not an easy answer that you will get from the collision specialist, as it will depend on many factors. You have to keep in mind how much damage was done to your car and what type of replacement parts you might need. If you have a specialty car, the length of the repair might be extended while the shop waits for those parts to arrive. Regardless, you should at least receive some type of estimate. Just keep in mind that it might change.
Is My Car Covered With It Is In the Shop?
You are going to be leaving your car in the hands of the shop for a while, so you have the right to know if it is covered while it is there. You should find out if the location has theft insurance. You also want to know if the place has insurance to cover any additional damages that might be caused while at the shop. Remember that you should still continue to pay your own insurance premiums while the vehicle is being repaired, no matter how long it takes.
Will the Paint Match the Rest of My Car?
You want to ensure that the auto-repair shop is able to match the paint of the damaged area to the rest of the car. Make sure they have the capability to match that paint and that they have ready access to it. You will need to have the paint code in order to do this.
How Soon Can I Wash My Car After An Auto-Body Repair?
In most cases, the shop will return your car or truck to you in a clean condition. At the same time, it might be recommended that you refrain from washing it for a certain period of time. Make sure that you ask this question so that there is no misunderstanding. You do not want to ruin weeks of repair because you jumped the gun and ran over to the local car wash. Ask if you can use friction brushing or a touch-free wash. If so, after how long?
Does Your Auto-Body Repair Shop Have Any Certifications?
You want to make sure that the shop you choose is properly licensed and certified. Two of the most common regulatory bodies in this industry are I-CA and ASE. Possessing one of the two certifications is a good indication that the auto-body repair shop you are looking at is reputable and will be doing a professional job for you. Remember that a collision specialist needs to be specially trained on how to reconstruct badly damaged vehicles. This is about much more than just replacing a broken transmission.
Will Your Auto-Body Repair Shop Put Everything In Writing?
It is important to have everything related to your repair be put in writing. This limits any misunderstandings down the road. In addition, your insurance company will want to have this as well. You want to have everything you can in writing, just in case. This includes the original estimate that you received, along with an itemized list of all the final charges.
What Is Your Payment Policy?
You should be able to see this posted where you can see it in the shop. It is important to know the payment methods that are accepted and any warranty information that they have available. If you do not see any type of payment policies posted in the shop itself, you should ask to see them before agreeing to have any work done. You also want to know how much you need to pay up front. The answer to each of these questions is important as you consider the collision specialist that is best equipped to serve you. You want to do your research and choose carefully. Your vehicle is important to you and you likely have a lot of money invested in it. As such, take your time when choosing a repair shop and you will ultimately be rewarded for the effort in the end. Don’t let your car be a roadblock for you. Get in touch with CBS Collision today. For your convenience, CBS Collision has three locations ready to serve you, or you can use the estimate tool to send photos straight to CBS Collision for your estimate.