• How to Choose an Auto Body Collision Repair Specialist

    Knowing how to choose an auto body collision repair specialist is important when your car has damage that needs fixing. You have many options available to you when you are in the market for auto repair, and among the quickest and most convenient is to do it from your home computer. You will find a plethora of resources online that can assist you in your search for the best auto body repair specialist.

    You already have an idea of what needs to be done to repair your car. What you need is a reputable repair facility to give you an honest, straightforward estimate. Because there are many shops competing for your business, it is in their best interest to give you the lowest possible price for the work you need done, but in order to be sure the quote is not excessively high, it is in your best interest to get several opinions. Two popular methods are: Using an online auto body repair estimator, and online word of mouth.

    Online Repair Estimator

    After you have determined that your damaged car requires collision repair, search the web for an online estimator. This is a free service designed to provide you with several quotes from participating repair shops in your area. The process is simple. For the fastest method, all you need is a printer and a digital camera.

    First, take several well-lit digital photos of the damaged area(s) preferably from various angles, and store them for the time being on your hard drive.

    Next, print out a damage grid made available by the online estimator service. You will physically lay this out over the damage on your car to take an accurate measurement of the area. This will help determine the size and scope of the needed repair, and consequently, the price. Keep in mind that, although online auto body repair estimators are accurate, the quote might have to be adjusted by up to 10% when you take the car in due to improper measurements or other damage you might have missed. However, you will be fully apprised of any changes before work begins.

    Submit your name, email address and phone number-which is kept confidential-and upload the photos of the damage. Include the vehicle identification number (VIN) as well as the completed damage grid. The online estimator will provide you with instructions for how to do this. Your record will be reviewed, and you will receive up to three quotes for repair from shops in your area, allowing you to pick the best one.

    Online Word of Mouth

    The other method to help you choose a collision repair specialist is online word of mouth. Rather than having to personally know people who have used a repair specialist in the past, you can find many forums online in which people have posted their experiences. To find a shop in your area, you may have to enter your zip code or use a forum specifically devoted to your locality. Be very discerning, though. Don’t take the first recommendation you find, and don’t assume that the information is entirely truthful. It is wise to verify any claims with a second or even third opinion, the Better Business Bureau, or a phone call or visit to the shop.

    Choosing a good auto body collision repair specialist is vital when your car is in need of repair. You can’t be too discerning when it comes to finding a reliable repair specialist who’ll give you an accurate assessment of what it’s going to cost you to get the job done to your satisfaction.