12 Must Know Collision Repair Terms
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12 Must Know Collision Repair Terms

We understand that being involved in any sort of traffic collision can be stressful and even traumatic, regardless of the severity of the accident. After dealing with the accident scene itself there can be several steps involved in getting your vehicle back on the road safely. If your vehicle requires auto body repairs it’s important that you stay informed through the entire process and being aware of some common collision repair terms will help reduce stress.

Following any sort of traffic collision you are probably going to have a lot of questions for your insurance company, auto body repair shop, and maybe even doctor. In order to ensure that you and your vehicle are properly taken care of, it is important to stay educated and understand what is going on.

Every industry has its own slang words and jargon, but not everyone is aware of what all these terms mean. Some auto body shops may keep you in the dark, but at Southern Auto Body we think it is important for you to know what is going on with your vehicle every step of the way.

We have put together a list of the most commonly used collision repair terms and their meanings. Let’s dive in:



A vehicle appraisal will be a written valuation of your vehicles worth – this is often provided by the insurance company.

A damage appraisal will be a written estimate of what the costs of repairing your vehicle will be – this will be provided by your auto body repair shop. In order to prepare your damage appraisal, a technician will complete a full analysis of all of your vehicles damage and all the parts/labour associated with the required repairs.

Don’t be surprised if you receive two separate appraisals, as mentioned above – one from your body shop and one from your insurance company.



Sometimes the word ‘appraisal’ will only be used by the insurance company to refer to their valuation of your vehicles worth, while the word ‘estimate’ will be used by your auto body repair shop.

In this case, the estimate will be a written document that covers the damages, cost of repairs, parts, and labour breakdowns for the post-accident repairs.

Keep in mind that this is an estimate, and is not always 100% accurate as further damage may be uncovered during disassembly.


Aftermarket Parts

An aftermarket part is any part that isn’t made by the original equipment manufacturer (the company who originally produced the vehicle).

Aftermarket parts can vary greatly in quality and cost and they may or may not be the best option for your replacement parts.

We recently wrote a blog article on Factory (OEM) vs. Aftermarket Parts, which you can read HERE for more information.


LKQ (Like Kind And Quality)

If you hear your auto body repair shop refer to LKQ parts they are referring to replacement parts that have been salvaged from another vehicle. These parts are thoroughly inspected by the seller and the repair shop before being used to replace a damaged part.


Blue Book

You may hear your auto body shop or your insurance company refer to the Blue Book value of your vehicle.

Blue Book refers to the Kelley Blue Book, a vehicle valuation and research company that is recognized by consumers and the automotive industry alike for providing accurate values of new and used cars.



You may hear the word casualty thrown around when no one was even injured, and this may cause undue stress. Keep in mind that the word casualty does not just refer to people, but can also refer to any liability of loss due to a vehicle collision.


DRP (Direct Repair Program)

Some insurance companies have agreements in place with certain repair shops in order to provide faster processing.

These agreements will include a list of specific procedures the auto body repair shop must follow.

Your insurance company may recommend or try to direct you towards a particular repair shop, but you always have the right t choose your own repair shop if you choose.

We wrote a blog article about the 5 Biggest Auto Body Repair Myths which debunks to the myth that your insurance company chooses the auto body shop for you. You can read that HERE.



You may run into repairs that are not covered by your insurance policy, these are called exclusions.

Not all auto insurance policies cover every part of a repair, so keep your eyes and ears open for any mention of exclusions, as these repairs are not included in your coverage and you will be on the hook for them.


R&I (Remove And Install)

Some repairs require that undamaged parts be removed from your vehicle while the repairs take place. These parts are removed and then reinstalled, hence the term Remove And Install.


R&R (Remove And Replace)

If a part is damaged and cannot be re-installed after removal it will be replaced by a new part. R&R refers to the process of removing the damaged part and replacing it with a new part.


Authorization To Repair or Repair Authorization

Before any work can begin on your vehicle you must provide your auto body repair shop with authorization to carry out the repairs.

Depending on your insurance coverage and the type of damage sustained to your vehicle, it is also possible that the collisions repairs will also require approval from your insurance company.


Work Order or Repair Order

A Work or Repair Order is a document that helps an auto body repair shop to track materials, parts, and labour during the repair process.


Understand Every Step

At Southern Auto Body we want to help ensure that you fully understand every step of the repair process so that you can make informed decisions and avoid undue stress. We hope that our list of collision repair terms did the trick!

If you have any questions or concerns please feel to contact us and our knowledgeable experts will be happy to assist you with all your automotive needs!

Visit us online or give us a call to book your vehicle in for all your auto body repairs, vehicle painting, detailing, regular mechanical needs, and more!



We recently published a blog article on what to do if you are in a traffic collision, which covers the steps you need to take in order to ensure that you are following the law and protecting yourself legally. We recommend reading that article as well as it covers some important steps which you will need to take before entering the repair process. You can check it out HERE.


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