Not all collision repair shops are created equal and the process of hiring a professional for your luxury automotive collision repair can be daunting. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration when choosing the right company, and this blog post will help you navigate through them all.
The better your collision repair professional is, the fewer headaches you will experience in this process.
Here are 20 tips that can help guide you through hiring a luxury automotive collision repair shop:
1) Consider the size of the company.
Look for a reputable, well-established collision repair shop that has been around for at least several years and is likely to be in business in the future. Some shops start out small but then either grow too fast or fail when they attempt to become larger than their capabilities can handle. A smaller company may charge more for the same service, but you have a better chance of being satisfied with their quality of service.
Larger shops can provide more services than smaller ones but large organizations are usually less flexible when it comes to customer needs because they tend to focus on efficiency over personalized care.
2) Get referrals from friends and family.
Word-of-mouth advertising is the best form of marketing there is, so it’s no surprise that this is one of the best ways to find a good collision repair professional. Ask your friends and family if they have had any good or bad experiences with local shops and whether they would recommend them.
It’s important to get more than one referral because different people may have different opinions about what makes a good collision repair shop. The key here is to find out as much about the quality of service provided by the shop rather than just their pricing. If you don’t know anyone who has had experience with a particular collision repair shop, then move on to the next tip.
3) Check the shop’s online reviews.
If you can’t get any personal referrals, then check online review websites such as Yelp, Google, and Facebook to see what other people have said about the collision repair shops in your area. Read through both the good and bad reviews to get a better idea of what to expect if you decide to use that particular shop.
Just like with personal referrals, it’s important to take online reviews with a grain of salt because not everyone is going to be happy with the service they receive. However, if there are more bad reviews than good ones or if the majority of them mention similar problems, then this is definitely something you’ll want to keep in mind when making your decision.
4) Get an estimate from each shop.
Once you have a list of potential collision repair shops, get estimates for the repairs to your car so that you can compare their prices on paper before making any decisions. You don’t have to take these quotes at face value because there are some companies who will charge more than others even if they aren’t necessarily providing better service or higher quality workmanship.
5) Look for shops with ASE-certified technicians.
The best collision repair professionals are usually the ones who have gone through an automotive certification program approved by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). These programs cover everything from basic safety procedures to specific technical knowledge that is required in order to work on modern vehicles. If a shop says they don’t need certified technicians, then this might be a sign of poor quality and you’ll want to look elsewhere without delay.
6) Ask about the shop’s warranty.
Any reputable collision repair shop should offer a warranty on their workmanship for at least 12 months or 12,000 miles. If they don’t, then you can bet that they aren’t very confident in the quality of their work.
Be sure to ask what is and isn’t covered by the warranty so that there are no surprises down the road. For example, some shops may not cover rust repairs even if they were caused by the original collision.
Shop policies vary greatly, so it’s important to understand what you’re getting into before signing any contracts.
7) Check the shop’s licensing and insurance.
In order to operate as a collision repair shop, the business must be licensed by the state. You can check online or give them a call to verify that this is the case.
It’s also important to make sure that the shop has liability insurance in case something goes wrong while they’re working on your car. Again, you can ask for verification of this information or check with your insurance company to see if they have any recommendations.
8) Get a written estimate.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential shops, get a written estimate from each one that includes the cost of parts and labor as well as any taxes and fees. This will help you to compare apples to apples when it comes time to make a decision.
It’s important to remember that the final bill may be higher than the estimate if additional work is needed or if the shop finds damage that wasn’t visible initially.
On the other hand, if the estimate is lower than what the shop charges in the end, they should refund the difference. Never pay for repairs in full upfront unless you’re absolutely sure that you’re getting what you paid for.
9) Ask for a discount.
Even the best collision repair shops may offer discounts if they’re trying to get your business or if you’ve been coming back for repairs over an extended period of time. Don’t be afraid to ask about this possibility even if it’s not listed on their website or mentioned in any advertising materials.
If there is no mention of a discount but you know that someone else (like another customer) has received one, then politely and professionally ask about the possibility of getting one as well. You can also check with your insurance company because many of them will cover part (or all) of the cost of these types of repairs at qualified facilities.
10) Get a second opinion.
If you’re not sure whether or not the shop is being honest about the damage to your car or if you think they’re trying to take advantage of you, then get a second opinion from another reputable collision repair shop. This isn’t always easy or convenient, but it can be well worth it in the end.
Shops will usually give you a free estimate for this service, and most of them won’t mind if you bring your car in for an inspection even if you don’t end up having any repairs done.
11) Ask about shop policies.
Every collision repair shop has its own set of policies when it comes to things like how long the work will take, what materials they use, and whether or not they offer a warranty. It’s important to be familiar with these before making a decision about which shop to use.
12) Get a feel for the shop’s customer service.
Even if the repairs on your car go smoothly, you’ll likely have to deal with the shop in some capacity after they’re finished. This is why it’s important to get a sense of their customer service skills during the initial consultation.
Are they friendly and helpful? Do they seem like they’re trying to rush you out of the door? How do they handle complaints or problems?
These are all things that you should keep in mind when making your final decision.
13) Beware of shoddy workmanship.
One of the biggest dangers of using an unprofessional collision repair shop is that you run the risk of having shoddy workmanship done on your car. If this happens, you’ll end up having to pay even more in the future when it comes time for additional repairs.
14) Find out if your car will need to be towed.
Many shops don’t offer this service, and those that do may charge you a fee for it. This means that you’ll have to arrange for the tow yourself or find another shop that’s willing to take on this responsibility before work begins.
15) Look into financing options ahead of time.
While most shops don’t require full payment upfront, they may still ask for part (or all) of the cost upfront so they can order parts as needed throughout the repair process. If possible, look into getting an auto loan from your local bank or credit union in advance because these lenders typically won’t let their customers pay such large sums upfront without charging them extra fees.
16) Get all repairs done at once.
The cost of multiple collision repairs is often lower than the total cost for one repair, so it’s advantageous to have everything taken care of at once if you can afford it. This will also ensure that your car has a consistent look throughout instead of having mismatched panels and paint jobs on different parts.
17) Avoid using aftermarket parts.
Many unprofessional collision repair shops will try to cut costs by using cheaper aftermarket parts instead of genuine manufacturer parts. These parts may not fit as well or last as long as the original ones, so it’s always best to avoid them if possible.
18) Get an estimate from your insurance company.
If you have comprehensive coverage on your car, then your insurance company will likely send out an adjuster to assess the damage and provide an estimate for repairs. This doesn’t mean that you have to use their preferred shop, but it can give you a good starting point for negotiations if you need to go back and forth with the shop.
19) Take your time.
Don’t feel rushed into making a decision about which shop to use after your car has been in an accident. The process of finding a good collision repair shop can take some time, but it’s worth it to do your research and make sure you’re getting the best possible service.
20) Use your intuition.
At the end of the day, you’re the one who has to make the final decision about which shop to use. If something doesn’t feel right or if you get a bad feeling from a particular shop, then it’s probably best to go somewhere else. Trust your gut instincts and you won’t be sorry.
If you’re looking for a professional collision repair shop for your luxury automobile, keep these 20 tips in mind. By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to find a reputable shop that will take care of your car while ensuring you receive the best results.