There are just under 300 million cars in the United States. That’s almost one car for every man, woman, and child residing in the country!
There’s no denying the fact that Americans love their cars. There’s also no denying that car owners hate needing to pay for repairs.
Maintenance alone on vehicles runs the average car owner hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, per year. Add to that cost the expense involved with getting a problem fixed and many people end up spending more on their wheels than they bargained for.
To bring down repair costs, it’s imperative that you choose the right auto body shop. Below, our team of car experts shares with you some simple tips that can help you filter through your options so you pick the best shop in your area!
1. Check Online Reviews
The internet is great for a lot of reasons but our favorite thing that it enables us to do is discern a business’ quality, fast. Look no further than online reviews featured on platforms like Yelp or Google and you can instantly get an idea of how a company is treating its customers.
In general, we recommend that you only do business with an auto body shop that has 10 or more reviews and an average of 4 out of 5 stars or better.
If you can’t find reviews for a body shop posted online, a lot of sites like this website will showcase testimonials on its pages. Beware though as website’s testimonials are often cherry-picked.
2. Talk to Friends and Family
Sometimes the best way to find great auto body shops is to have good old fashion conversations with people in your community. Chances are, at least one person in your neighborhood knows someone that performs standard maintenance on and fixes cars.
With a quality referral, you might even get a discount on your repairs.
3. Keep an Eye on Overhead
A lot of people don’t know this but one of the primary drivers of an auto body shop’s cost is their overhead. They have to build it into their pricing and because of that, if you’re looking to get repairs in a more expensive area, you’re going to end up paying more money.
Because of that, we recommend trying your luck at auto body shops in non-affluent areas. If you do that, you’ll likely find a high-quality business that charges significantly less than a business of equal quality in a more ritzy neighborhood.
4. Shop Around
This may seem obvious but you’d be surprised by how many people don’t talk to multiple auto body shops when getting a quote.
Three auto body shops could offer you drastically different pricing on a job. The more shops you talk to, the better the odds you’ll enjoy when it comes to finding the best prices.
5. Ask Good Questions
Many people don’t think to ask questions about warranties and insurance when selecting an auto body shop. Those people are putting themselves at risk.
Auto body shops with no warranty on their work could do a horrible job on your car and you’d have no recourse when it falls apart shortly thereafter. Shops with no insurance could experience a fire and you wouldn’t be able to easily collect for damages your car incurred.
Any auto body shop worth its salt offers a 1-year guarantee or better on its work and has proper insurance coverage.
6. Pay Attention to How You Feel
Your gut is a strong tool when it comes to sniffing out who’s worth doing business with and who isn’t. We suggest that you pay attention to yours.
If you’re getting weird, sleazy vibes from a mechanic, move on. Chances are that your intuition is on point.
7. Request a Price Match
If you’re in love with an auto body shop but its prices are just out of your reach, ask for a price match. Requesting price matches is another reason why shopping around is so important. It gives you the leverage you need to negotiate.
If the person you’re talking to says that they don’t have the authority to offer lower prices, ask to speak to someone that does.
Mom and pop shops are more likely than chains to price match so keep that in mind when you’re searching.
8. Consider a Shop That Specializes in Your Make and Model
Car owners that are flexing super common vehicles should be able to take their car in anywhere for repairs. Car owners that are working with older or more exotic models might want to shop at a body shop that is a little more specialized.
Oftentimes, people who run general auto body shops will try their hand at exotic car models and end up messing things up. To protect your expensive vehicle, going to shops that advertise working with a particular car brand is a good bet.
9. Get Your Estimate in Writing
We can’t tell you how many people were quoted a verbal estimate only to get burned later. Don’t be that person.
Get your estimate in writing and if any funny business happens, you’ll be covered.
Wrapping Up Tips on How to Find the Right Auto Body Shop
Our tips above should prove to be everything that you need in order to successfully find the perfect auto body shop in your area.
Use them and be prepared to enjoy higher rates of satisfaction and lower prices!
For more money saving tips on all things cars, check out more of our newest content on GoMotors today!