Five Questions to Ask When Choosing a Collision Repair Shop

Five Questions to Ask When Choosing a Collision Repair Shop

When your car needs a repair, it can pay to be choosy about who you select to fix it. You want to make sure that any repairs or part replacements are done correctly the first time, so you don’t end up paying more later.

1 – What are the shop’s certifications? Collision repair shops and their technicians can obtain a variety of different certifications to let consumers know what type of cars they are certified in and specialize in repairing. These certifications take lots of factors into consideration – the training and experience of the repair technicians, the repair and safety protocols of the shops, and more. The most common certifications in the U.S. are the National Institute of Auto Service Excellence (ASE), the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repairs (I-CAR), and OEM certifications (shops that are certified by Original Equipment Manufacturers such as Honda, Ford, etc.) You can learn more about shop certifications here. Many shops will list their certifications in their Carwise.com profile.

2 – Does the shop offer warranties? When doing a repair or replacement, many shops will offer warranties, in case there is a failure with one of the parts that was replaced or the body or finish work. However, warranties can vary widely from shop to shop, so you should be sure to ask about this before agreeing to a repair. That way, you’ll know exactly what’s covered under warranty and for how long. Warranties also vary based on the type of part being used in the repair. Ask what warranties are available with your chosen parts.

3 – What are my repair options, and can you explain them to me? A good repair facility should be able to explain the repair process to any customer, regardless of their level of car knowledge. Ask lots of questions when discussing a repair, including asking for a full range of options and an explanation of each. If you don’t understand what’s being said, ask them to clarify in simple terms. You should fully understand what’s going to happen with your vehicle before work begins.

4 – What services does the shop charge for? Many shops offer free estimates for repairs, but some do not. Before you hand over your keys, ask the shop technician what their process is and what services they charge for, including if they charge for estimates and diagnostic tests in addition to the repair itself.

5 – Does the shop have positive customer reviews? Online reviews are a great way to find out whether a shop is trusted in your community. You can find reviews from real customers on Carwise.com, as well as other sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp.

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