What to do?
So you have been in an accident! How do you choose a repair facility? Do you call your insurance and ask where they want it to be repaired? Do you call your dealer for a recommendation? Or do you get recommendations from friends? So many things will influence your decision on who you choose. Are you paying for the repairs or is there an insurance company paying the bill? Do you own the car or is it a lease? Is quality your priority or are you looking for the lowest price? Here are a few things to consider.
Insurance companies will have a list of “approved repairers” that they may recommend you take your car to. They will tell you that their shops have met their high standards of quality and that they will guarantee their work.
There are no rigorous standards or levels of excellence they must meet to become an approved shop. The only requirement they must meet is to agree to the insurance companies discounts on parts and labor and to agree to give their customers priority. Not to say if a shop is on their list they are not a good shop they may in fact be one of the best shops in town. What’s important to know is that just because the shop is on an approved list should not be the only criteria you use in choosing a shop.
Cars are a lot more complex than they were in the old days. The problem is many shops are repairing cars like they did in the old days. They have failed to invest in the tools and training required to repair modern vehicles. The frame rack that is capable of repairing a wrecked modern vehicle, back to factory tolerance can cost in excess of $100,000.00. A shop that has made this kind of investment is not going to be the lowest bidder. You not only want the car to look and drive like new but more importantly you want to make sure it will perform the same in the event of another accident.
Look for a shop that specializes in your vehicle, a shop that repairs all makes and models might do a good job but can’t possibly have all the training for every car line.
Many European cars use aluminum and ultra high strength steel requiring special equipment for repairs. Shops should be certified by the car manufacturer to do the work meaning they must have the proper tools and training to do the repairs. Your wouldn’t see a general practitioner if you needed heart surgery, you would see a heart specialist. These days it should be the same for your vehicle, chose someone who has the experience and expertise on your make. Often your car manufacture will have a list of certified repair centers in your area. Remember the choice is yours; you have the right to choose the repair facility not your insurance company.