There is a lot of advice out there that says it’s best to get three or more estimates before deciding which auto body shop will fix your vehicle. But this isn’t great advice. We recommend that you find a professional shop with experienced personnel and trust them to do the estimate – and the repair work – right.
Read on to find out why some people suggest getting multiple estimates for car repairs and why we think only one estimate is really necessary. We have also provided some information about your right and freedom to choose the auto body shop that you prefer.
Multiple Estimates May Be Helpful…
There are a lot of posts that recommend for car owners to request multiple estimates for auto repair work. Some suggest getting as many as three or four! That would mean spending multiple week days calling or going around to different auto body shops and mechanics in town, or maybe even further away. Shopping around for the lowest estimate can take up a lot of your valuable time. Plus, it means delaying the actual repair work until you have had time to collect and review all the quotes. Most drivers can’t afford to waste this much time and don’t want to go about their normal activities with a damaged car.
Don’t worry, we don’t think that is good advice.
If you ask around, it’s true that you will probably see a difference in the prices quoted for auto body repair, fixing dents and car painting. And this price gap tends to get bigger as the price of the work increases. But, it’s also true the cheapest estimate may not be the best one.
The total estimated price doesn’t tell the whole story. Here are three valid reasons why:
- Repair estimates are notoriously inaccurate at predicting the final cost of fixing a car. This is because they are purely initial estimates of the work made without disassembling the vehicle to fully inspect the damage.
- One repair shop might provide you a quote covering the cost of fixing a part. Another repair shop might tell you the cost of replacing it entirely. These are not comparable services.
- Finally, just because one is cheaper, doesn’t mean that it’s the best option for you or your car.
…But One is Usually Enough.
Having your car fixed isn’t just about parts and labor. A good repair estimate also factors in the quality of the paint and parts used, as well as the amount of time needed to do the job well – the first time. The quote will give you a general idea of what will be needed to fix the vehicle and how long it will need to stay at the shop.
Until the technicians start working on their car, there is no way to accurately predict the true cost of the repair. Once body panels have been taken off and damaged parts are removed, then your body shop may inform you of supplemental costs. Additional parts or labor, which were unexpected when the estimate was made, are known as supplementals. This is standard operating procedure in this industry.
Don’t waste your time getting a quote from every mechanic in town. Go to a reputable repair shop, which offers a guarantee for their work, and let the experienced technicians work up a detailed estimate. Then, that shop can help you file a car insurance claim and work through the claims process.
Choose the Repair Shop that You Prefer
Remember, you don’t have to rely on the auto repair shop recommended by your insurance company.
Large insurance companies are able to negotiate lower prices with chain auto body shops. Usually, this results in higher profit margins on parts and labor for the insurance company. This is why your policy includes a list of preferred service providers. It does not necessarily guarantee a higher level of professionality, better quality parts or more reliable repair work.
Insurance agents and claims representatives may say that the auto body shop you prefer is not in their network, on their recommended list, or one of their partners. This doesn’t mean that you need to take your car somewhere else. Some even threaten to limit insurance coverage of work that is carried out by another shop.
Don’t worry. Trustworthy auto service providers – like Badell’s Collision – will give you a lifetime warranty for their repair work. We know the insurance adjusters in in Aston and Malvern, and we’re prepared to provide you with exceptional service no matter what kind of damage your car has endured, and we can work with your insurance company and help you file a claim. Stop by one of our shops or use our simple online estimate form.