reliable auto body

The quickest way to choose the best auto body shop for repairs is to have a list of the right questions to ask the mechanic. These questions will help determine if auto body shops can address your concerns.

When fixing your car, picking the right auto body shop matters. Whether it’s a little scratch or a big collision, knowing how to choose the best one can save you time and money while ensuring your ride gets the TLC it needs.

We have laid out the quickest ways and critical questions that will come in handy when choosing the best auto body shops for your needs.

Key Takeaways

1. The best way to find a good auto body shop is to have the right questions to ask them and deduce their capability to address your car problems.

2. When going into an agreement with a repair shop, make sure that all agreements are written in a contract to avoid confusion and conflicts.

3. Badell’s Collision specializes in doing minor to major auto body repairs. Allow our experts to evaluate your vehicle and address problems efficiently.

How to Choose the Best Auto Body Shop? Questions You Should Be Asking

Choosing a repair shop to bring your vehicle to is like finding a life partner. It can be hard, and you have to choose carefully. The key is to ask the right questions and listen carefully to their assessments.

Before choosing an auto body shop nearby for collision repair, glass replacement, or car painting, it’s essential to ask the following questions to determine if the shop is reliable: 


1. What credentials does the business have? 

The first thing to know before selecting a body shop is how long it has been in business. Repairing a vehicle correctly and quickly takes knowledge and experience. You should also ask if they have experience with that particular type of repair and your kind of car. Not all technicians are familiar with foreign vehicles or classic models, and this could make them more difficult to fix. 

A car manufacturer and industry association certifications are an important sign of a reputable body shop. Good national certifications to look for are the AAA, the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR), the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), and the Independent Auto Body Association (IABA). These certify that technicians have been trained and have the skills to make proper repairs safely. 

Trust repair shops like Badell’s Collision. Our services are recognized as an I-CAR Gold Class repair business – the highest level of training certification in the collision repair industry.

2. Can you give me an estimate? 

As the car owner, it’s up to you where to bring your car for repairs, even if your insurance company has agreements with other body shops. Don’t feel pressured to choose from the shops on your insurance carrier’s list. 

To find a reliable auto body shop, it’s best to shop around. Get three or four estimates from different businesses near you. Most repair companies provide free quotes, and some can calculate an estimate on their website. The lowest estimate is not necessarily the best; however, be sure to consider the quality of the parts and the expected long-term durability of the repairs quoted as well. 

A trustworthy technician won’t have any problem carefully explaining your repair options and putting a repair estimate in writing. Asking several body shops for quotes helps you avoid being overcharged. When the work has been completed, request an itemized bill; compare it to the quote, and don’t hesitate to ask about discrepancies. 

3. What kinds of parts and materials will be used to repair the vehicle? 

This is often where you will see the most variation between estimates. It’s important to ask if the repair shop will use aftermarket, used, or original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. For the integrity of your car, no matter what make or model, it’s best to use new parts, but some shops try to save money by installing salvaged parts. 

If sections of the vehicle need to be painted, you should ask if the paint will match the current color. A paint code is attached to the car, indicating the exact type of paint used by the manufacturer. Ask if the repair shop will match this color and how many coats of paint and clear coat will be applied. 

4. Is there a warranty for repairs and replacements? 

A body shop that stands behind its work should offer a written warranty. Ask how long it lasts and what it covers. The minimum should cover the repair work, parts, and paint job for one year. Badell’s Collision exceeds the industry minimum; we offer a lifetime warranty on all auto body repairs. 

5. Does this auto body shop have insurance? 

You never know when bad luck will strike twice. Make sure that the auto body shop you choose for repairs carries insurance for fire and theft. If your car will be held there for a few days while being repaired, you want to make sure it’s insured from further damage. 

6. What are others saying about this business? 

Ask around. What do friends, family, and acquaintances have to say about their experience with that auto body shop? Do they recommend it? Would they go back? Satisfied customers are a body shop’s best resource for attracting more business. 

You can also feel the quality of service that a shop near you provides by checking out their ratings, reviews, and customer comments online. Read if others have had positive experiences with customer service, felt they received quality repair work promptly, and if estimates were accurate and the prices were fair. 

Auto Body Repair Shop Checklist

Discussing details with the auto body shop before repairing your car is important. Ask for details about the problem and the repair process. Get specifics about the repair an itemized list of parts and repairs, and don’t hesitate to ask for clarification if needed.

Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion if you’re unsure about the repairs. 

Here is a list of tips for choosing an auto repair shop and what to do before signing a deal with an auto body repair shop.

Ask for Details about the Repairs Needed   

If you’re unsure what’s wrong with your car and need a technician to diagnose the problem, you might need to leave the car at the auto body shop for a few hours. Don’t hesitate to ask for details when the auto body shop calls you to explain the problem.  

If the technician tells you the problem is in the engine but doesn’t expand on the exact problem, don’t hesitate to ask for further information. You might find it helpful to ask for details about why the problem happened, especially if it didn’t result from an accident.

The body shop might recommend more frequent oil changes or that certain parts will likely fail after a certain number of miles.  

Get an Itemized List of Parts and Labor  

Before beginning work on your vehicle, your auto body shop or mechanic should give you an estimate of the parts and costs associated with the repair. If you have a dented bumper from a collision, you might have damage that isn’t visible from a casual surface inspection.  

Your itemized list of repairs should include all the parts the shop estimates it will use to complete the repair and the expected total cost.  

Unforeseen issues may increase the repair cost or the time the shop must keep your vehicle. Always ask for a full explanation of why the shop needs the car so you’re not left guessing about the cost or timeline.  

Define Insurance Coverage 

As the owner, you get to choose who to trust with your car. Insurance companies usually have a few chain repair shops in their network of preferred service providers. Deals from insurance-recommended body shops benefit insurance companies because the body shop offers them a discounted rate, but these savings aren’t passed on to their customers. You, the car owner, pay the same going rate. 

So, if that’s not how you like to do business, or you’re concerned about the quality of their workmanship, you are free to choose a different body shop. And though local auto body shops, like Badell’s Collision, may not be on the insurance company’s preferred list, we will definitely still work with your insurance company to get the right repairs made and covered. 

If Something Is Unclear, Ask for Clarification 

Some repairs aren’t challenging to understand, but if you’re confused about the function of a particular part or the reason for a repair, do ask your auto body shop for information. Your auto body shop or mechanic can expand on why your car needs a specific repair, as well as the reason for the cost.  

You don’t need to act like an expert on auto body repair when speaking with your auto body technician or the shop owner. Getting the clarification you need is far more critical than pretending you know everything about your vehicle.  

Don’t be Afraid to Get a Second Opinion 

You’re under no obligation to have your car fixed by the first auto body mechanic who diagnoses your vehicle. If you’re unsure about the repairs, don’t hesitate to ask another shop for a diagnosis. Just as you might get a second opinion from a doctor about a health issue, you can also do the same regarding your vehicle. 


Get the Deal in Writing

When it comes to selecting the best auto body repair shop, ensuring clarity and transparency in the agreement is paramount. One crucial step in this process is to get all aspects of the deal in writing. This includes detailed estimates outlining the scope of work, parts to be replaced, labor costs, and any additional fees or charges. Having a written agreement helps prevent misunderstandings and serves as a point of reference in case of disputes or discrepancies.

A written deal will also help you with claims involving the Lemon Law. This can help you deal with a repair shop holding your vehicle for too long.

How long will it take to repair your car?

Most auto body shops can only hold your car for repair for 30 days. The shop has this long to address your problems. The exact time it will take to repair the car will depend on the severity of the case.

When getting auto body repairs, several factors impact how long it takes to fix your car, including the extent of damage, repair claims process, hidden surprises, insurance supplements, ordering parts, scheduling repair work, and the skills of the collision repair staff.

When estimating the work required, repair technicians can only consider the surface, so the repair time and cost may change once underway. After repairs are made, car owners should check paint color, texture, overspray, alignment, and cleanliness, and if there are any issues, talk to the body shop or seek a post-repair inspection from another facility. 

Post-Repair Car Care 

After completing repairs at an auto body shop, it’s essential to prioritize post-repair car care to maintain the integrity and longevity of the repairs. Start by carefully inspecting the work the professionals do to ensure everything meets your expectations and specifications.

Follow these steps:

  • Thoroughly inspect the repaired areas to make sure everything is in order. 
  • Drive cautiously for the first few days after the repair, as your car may handle it differently. 
  • Keep an eye out for any unusual noises or behaviors in your car, as these could indicate further problems. 
  • Follow up with the auto body shop if any issues arise after the repair.

Once you’re satisfied with the repairs, it’s time to establish a regular maintenance routine to keep your vehicle in top condition. This includes following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for oil changes, tire rotations, fluid checks, and other essential services.

When should car owners request a post-repair inspection?  

The car owner can ask for a post-repair inspection whenever unsatisfied with the repair work done. This type of inspection is designed to determine if the original damage was fully assessed if the car was fixed properly, and if quality parts were used.

Request that the auto collision repair shop completely re-evaluate your vehicle and report any irregularities.

If the car looks different than before the collision or operates differently, this is another good reason to request an inspection. Post-repair inspection is critical and must be done as some insurance providers will not cover reinspections once the vehicle exits the collision centers.

Don’t Settle for Less than the Best: Badell’s Auto Body Repair 

Choosing the right auto body shop for your car repairs can be challenging, but by asking the right questions, discussing details with the technician, preparing for the repairs, and following up after the repairs are complete, you can help ensure that your car is in good hands and running smoothly. 

Badell’s Collision is the body shop trusted by thousands of car owners in the Aston and Malvern, Pennsylvania, area. Allow us to assess the repair work you need, and we’ll give you an honest and comprehensive quotation and report. Trust our experts with decades of experience dealing with minor to major repair works.

We welcome any questions you may have about how we do business, the services we offer, and estimates. Visit one of our shops or try the easy-to-use online estimate form

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