When gathering estimates from different body shops, it is not uncommon for the costs to greatly vary. You may receive an estimate for $500 at one location and another collision center wants $2,000 for the same job. This raises the questions, what’s the difference between the two? And when is it acceptable to select the less expensive shop? Luckily, this article will discuss how to choose the best collision center near you.
In addition to asking a lot of questions, make sure to ask the right questions. For example, ask if the shop provides a written warranty? And if they do, how long is the warranty? What is covered in the warranty? The standard warranty is one-year, but they vary between collision centers. Another critical question is if the shop carries theft and fire insurance. In the instance there is a burglary or your building catches fire, you want to ensure your automobile is covered. Furthermore, ask how long the shop has been in business and if they have a business license.
You should also ask about the materials the shop will use for the repair – are they aftermarket, used or new parts? Of course, new parts are best, as are used parts but they do not offer the huge savings most imagine. Depending on the extent of the damage, aftermarket parts are a very cost-effective option and can be as robust as those provided by the manufacturer.
Location and Overhead
The greatest expense in car repair is the charged labor hours. Large body shops that staff many front-end office workers charge a higher rate because they have to pay all their staff. While the services provided by the front-end employees often give customers confidence in the business, it can pad the estimate. In the wealthier areas of a city, the labor cost may be higher due to rent costs and the amenities of having a large staff.
Also, when repairing the primary issue, the higher-end shops in wealthy neighborhoods might charge for everything that needs fixing. For instance, there could be charges for time spent removing the hood or the door, even when it is not completely necessary.
Rely on your Intuition
Like with any purchase, it is critical to trust your own intuition regarding the collision center you are considering. If the shop is slow, it could be because other customers avoid it due to shoddy repairs and high costs. If the collision center is excessively dirty, disorganized or cluttered, this could reflect on the work you will receive on your automobile. Also, judge the shop manager’s attitude: is he a grouch who won’t answer your questions or is he communicative and provides excellent customer service?
The final factor in choosing the best collision center near you is to pay attention to the word-of-mouth. Any business can place an advertisement, but you will have more luck with a shop that your friends, family members, and work colleagues have visited. They have gone through the process, been satisfied (or dissatisfied), so the business is verified. It may not be the nicest or best shop in the area, but they do the job at a reasonable price.
In many of the smaller shops, the owner works on the car himself. Many business owners enjoy getting their hands dirty and having full control over the repair. It is also a more personal approach to business, and you will likely get a better explanation of what exactly is going on with the automobile and how to fix it.
If you live in the Northwest Arkansas area and are in need of a collision center that offers fair pricing and excellent customer service, reach out to Brown’s Collision Center in Bentonville, Arkansas.