With a vehicle being the second largest purchase of a persons life time, it is understandable that you would want to take precaution as to who works on bringing a vehicle back to factory spec’s after a collision. The following are some helpful hints when selecting a body shop:
1. ASE or Manufacturer Certified Mechanics
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (NIASE) operates a national program geared to testing and certifying the competency of automotive professionals. Industry experts and ASE pros create the tests and ACT (the same group known for college entrance exams) administers the tests. To achieve ASE certification, a mechanic must pass at least one exam and have two years of work experience.
2. Cleanliness of the Shop
Unless a auto body repair shop doesn’t have any business, a clean, well-organized shop often is an indication of a culture of attention to detail. When you bring in your auto, you want to know that the mechanics will follow a specific check list for repairing a problem. Plus, you don’t want to worry about possible airborne contaminants getting into places where they shouldn’t.
Thanks to the Internet and other industry relevant associations and trade mags, you can do research before even leaving the house. Some common places to check the ratings of your local shops would be the Better Business Bureau, AAA, any community awards (many communities now rate local services for best performance), and simply doing a search on Google to see what reports may appear.
Take the time to review what a shop claims they offer when your vehicle is brought for an estimate and or repair, if you are finding some inconsistencies with what is being advertised versus what is being provided that is a good indication of future occurrences when it comes to the repair of your vehicle. At that point you can make an informed decision on if you would like to do business with that repair shop.
5. Accredited Accolades
Review the accolades that the shop states it has, ensure that they are current. Also feel comfortable with asking the person who is taking you on a tour of the facility to give you the definition of what some of these accolades stand for.
Insist on meeting the owner and introducing your self.
7. I Car Gold
Check to make sure the facility is certified by independent automotive organizations, such as I-Car Gold Class Professionals, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, or Connecticut Collision Repair Specialists.
8. Better Business Bureau
Check to see if the business is a member of the Better Business Bureau. This information can be found on the facility’s website and should be displayed in their waiting room.
9. The Invoice
Check the invoice (also known as the work order) carefully, making sure you understand everything that was done and what you are paying for. Ask about anything that you do not understand.
Be sure to get a legible copy of the work order for your records. The charges for parts and labor must be itemized separately and indicate the use of any new, rebuilt, reconditioned or used parts.
10. Road Test Guarantee
Each vehicel is road tested and inspected by the owner before delivery