How to Choose the Right Auto Body Shop

How to Choose the Right Auto Body Shop

Tuesday, 02 June 2020 19:37

Whether you’ve been in an accident, need to replace a panel, or want to stop rust in its tracks, finding a good auto body shop is essential. They can help you resolve the issue - and save you big bucks down the road. But when you get one estimate for $3000, another for $1500, and another for $500, it can be hard to choose the right professionals for your needs. What factors should you be looking at? 

 

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Body Shop in Elkin

Don’t always go for the cheapest estimate - at least without doing your homework. You want to look at value vs. cost. In other words, if you pay $500 for bodywork instead of $1500, but have to go back in a month to fix more issues or you develop rampant rust, it wasn’t worth it. We all want to find the most affordable choice, but that can mean pay a little more upfront in order to save more down the line. That said, when you’re looking for an auto body shop, make sure:

1. They Have Great Word of Mouth 

Word of mouth is the single most powerful form of advertising; any business can say they’re great - but when your peers recommend them, you know they can deliver the solutions you need. In many cases, you can unearth smaller shops that take pride in their work and deliver a reasonable, fair price. Ask your friends and family, look at reviews online, and see whose name is mentioned.

2. Look at Labor Costs

Some shops charge a higher price to compensate for their overhead, and others charge for the time it takes to, for example, remove the hood and a door. This can blow up your bill in no time. Look for shops that give you an estimate based on the hours typically required to perform common repairs. Many shops use a reference guide that provides estimated hours, and they then quote these to customers. This can help keep your costs under control.

3. Shop Around

Don’t go with the first auto body shop you come across. Take some time to get several quotes. This will help you get a sense of what the ballpark is for your repair. As mentioned, though, do not just go with the lowest quote. “Cheap” is not a good value in the long run. If a shop gives an estimate that is substantially lower than others, be cautious. It can be a big red flag. 

4. Ask Questions 

What should you ask when you visit auto body shops?

  • Do you offer a written warranty? 
  • If yes, for how long, and what does it cover? (“Lifetime” warranties often have very restrictive terms and conditions, so it’s best to look for one to two years.)
  • Do you have fire and theft insurance?
  • How long have you been in business? 
  • May I see your license? (Most will have them displayed.)
  • What type of materials do you use (e.g. new, used, aftermarket parts)? 
  • How many coats of paint and clear coat will you apply?

Pay attention to the answers, of course, but also how the body shop employee/owner speaks to you. Are they helpful? Courteous? Friendly? Knowledgeable? 

5. Go with Your Gut 

If a body shop ticks off all these boxes, provides the right answers, and has a good reputation, the next step is to listen to your gut. Do you feel the shop is trustworthy? Honest? Do they work with integrity? Or do they cut corners? Are their repairs shoddy? If you feel like something’s wrong, go with a shop that you feel comfortable with entrusting your vehicle - and your money. 

At SRM Paintwerks, we pride ourselves on doing top-quality work for a reasonable price. We put your needs first and strive to deliver the service you need when you need it. Our team specializes in collision repair (including classic and muscle cars), as well as custom paint and restoration, engine modifications, custom exhaust systems, and more. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.

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