There are a lot of questions to ask when looking for a collision center. You want to feel comfortable with these people and know that your car is in good hands. Whether you choose a big franchise or a locally-owned shop, there are some things that you can do to make sure that your car is repaired by the best people possible.
Choice of Collision Center
First of all, everyone should understand they have the right to choose where their vehicle is taken after the event of an accident. It is not uncommon for insurance companies or towing services to suggest your vehicle goes to a specific collision or body shop, however, you as the owner have the final say in who handles your collision repairs.
Once you have spoken with your insurance adjuster and decided where your vehicle is to be taken, there are several factors that will help you choose the best collision center. One of these factors is past customer testimonials. You can request several addresses or phone numbers of former customers who had repairs done at the shop you are considering so you may speak with them personally. Testimonials from past customers can help you gain an understanding for the quality of work done at a specific body shop, as well as how they handled claims and customer service.
Choice of Parts
On top of being able to choose where your vehicle is taken in the event of an accident, you also have to right to opt for generic or factory OEM parts. for any type of repairs, its always recommended to use factory OEM parts which are made specifically for your make and model vehicle. These parts are made by the same company that manufactured your car, so they fit properly, function properly, and last longer than generic parts which are not made specifically for your vehicle model.
Many insurance companies will try requesting that generic parts are used in the collision repairs, which is generally only in their favor. However, there are also many scenarios where generic parts are not acceptable. If your vehicle has any type of exotic or expensive paint job (such as pearl coats), or otherwise custom exterior work done to it, then OEM parts must be used because anything less will compromise the appearance of the repaired area.
Wait Until You’re Completely Ready
You don’t have to release your vehicle to the collision center to begin the repair process before you’re ready. If you want to wait for any reason, whether it’s insurance reasons or that you need more time to remove personal items from the vehicle, then don’t let anyone pressure you into hand over your car before you’re ready.
Oftentimes collision centers will pressure their customers into dropping off their vehicles as soon as possible, then the customers will be forced to wait for their vehicles to be completed. However, you can tell them that your vehicle isn’t available yet and ask how long it may take until they are ready for it. Once you have this estimated time period, make sure to give yourself an additional day or two so you don’t find yourself in a position to have to pay for a rental car out of pocket if your vehicle isn’t completed on time.