If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, one of the first things on your mind may be how to get your vehicle fixed and back on the road as quickly as possible. But, taking your vehicle to the first auto body shop you find, or the auto body shop recommended by your insurance provider, may not be the best answer. In order to ensure that you are using a reputable, reliable, and trusted auto body shop, it is important to do your research and ask your body shop these questions.
Southern Auto Body has compiled the following list of questions to ask your body shop before getting your vehicle repaired based on what we know to be important, and what we are asked most regularly. Please note that there are of course other questions out there that could also be very helpful, and we always suggest doing your research to ensure you get back on the road both quickly and safely!
So, let’s dive right in.
Here are the top 8 questions to ask your body shop before having your vehicle repaired:
Do the auto body repairs include a warranty?
Before having any work done to your vehicle it is always important to inquire regarding the body shop’s warranty offerings. Good details to know are how long the warranty is valid, what the warranty covers, and if there is any additional cost for the warranty coverage.
Are the technicians certified to repair your vehicle?
Inquiring regarding certifications will help to indicate that your body shop has had their technicians take additional courses and undergo additional training.
When a technician is certified it means that their knowledge of new technologies and safety procedures are up-to-date.
Are there rental or loaner vehicles available?
Obviously, being without your vehicle for an extended period of time is an inconvenience. And, depending on the severity of the damages to your vehicle, it is possible that the repairs may take some time.
Not all body shops provide rental or loaner vehicles, but it is always a good idea to ask. Even if they do not, they may be able to help arrange a rental vehicle for you by communicating with a nearby rental agency.
Most insurance policies have an option for rental car coverage, so it is also important to check what type of coverage your policy provides.
What is the payment policy for the repairs being done on your vehicle?
Even if you are not covering the cost of collision repairs on your own, you should ask your body shop regarding their payment policies as they can differ widely from shop to shop.
Some of the most important factors to note will be whether or not an upfront payment is required if there are financing options, what the acceptable payment methods are, and how the repair costs themselves will be broken down (labor rates, materials, warranty etc.).
Inquire regarding any and all warranties and guarantees, and it is always best to ask for everything in writing if it is not provided upfront.
Note: Even if your insurance policy is covering the cost of repairs it is important to discuss payment with your insurance company, as well as your auto body shop.
Is there a written contract provided for all repair work?
It is always important to ensure that you are provided with a written contract of all work that will be done. This contract will be imperative should there be any disputes regarding work that may be done that was not discussed in the initial contract.
Written contracts should include an itemized list of all work that is to be completed, along with the estimated cost for each repair.
Once the repairs have been completed, if the itemized bill does not match the written estimate, don’t be scared to ask about the discrepancies.
Note: If you are shopping around for a body shop it may be in your best interested to request a written estimate – this way when you return both parties will be on the same page.
How long will the repairs take?
Being without your vehicle for an extended period of time is obviously not ideal and will require alternate transportation. So, it is always important to know how long the repairs are expected to take.
This is our #1 most asked question and we suggest that you always request that your body shop provide you think a completion date so that you can make necessary arrangements and adjust your schedule if needed.
Note: Repair times may vary greatly from case to case based on the extent of damage, how busy the body shop is, weekends and holiday schedules, supplier schedules, and the availability of parts.
Will your vehicle be covered for damages while in your auto body shop?
This is something that many people don’t think to ask about, but in the odd case can be very important. Ensure that you ask your body shop regarding whether or not your vehicle be covered in case of damages, fire, vandalism, or theft.
Note: We never recommend suspending your insurance premiums while your vehicle is being repaired. Continue to pay your premiums and ensure your personal coverage is ongoing.
What are other people saying about your body shop?
Checking online reviews can often be a very helpful resource, and provide an excellent idea of how reputable an auto body shop really is.
Looking for reviews on Google or Facebook can help you get a sense of the quality of services provided based on customer feedback, ratings, and reviews.
Note: If you are left with any questions after reading a review, or want an expanded explanation regarding a particular process or service, reach out to the reviewer and ask them to elaborate based on their personal experience.
Ensure you are getting the best, safest repairs you can!
There you have it, the top 8 questions to ask your body shop before having any repairs completed. If you are able to answer these 8 questions and feel comfortable that your vehicle is going to be returned to you in a reasonable amount of time and meet manufacturer safety standards, you have probably found your auto body shop!
If your vehicle requires any auto body repairs, servicing, or detailing, please contact us today for a free quote!