After an accident, people are often disoriented and confused. Even if you didn’t sustain any injury from the collision, the whole experience will probably leave you feeling a little bit stressed and rattled. In a situation like this, most of us just want to get the matter handled as quickly as possible so that things can go back to normal. However, it is essential to ask the right questions when taking your car to a shop after an accident.
1. A Repair Warranty
Although not all vehicle repairs require a warranty, body shop repairs should always have one. This is just a way to make sure that the shop is willing to guarantee their work to some extent. If they won’t do this, it signifies that they don’t have a lot of faith in their ability to fix your car correctly. Therefore, you should always ask about a repair warranty and find out the terms of that warranty.
2. Ask About An Estimate
No matter how much you need those repairs, it is important to get an estimate and make sure that you can afford them. It is best to figure this out before you have your car towed to a shop. Otherwise, if the estimate is too high, you will have to pay for another towing job.
It is perfectly normal to ask about the certifications that a shop or mechanic might have. Bodywork is a big subject, and there is more than one relevant certification. Since most people do not have all of these certs, it is best to verify that your vehicle is being repaired by a qualified technician.
Don’t just take their word for it, either. Find out exactly which certifications they have, and then you can find out who issues those certs. Once you know that, you can look on that organization’s website or contact them directly. This is a good way to make sure that those certifications are both valid and current.
4. Range Of Services
Once again, bodywork is a big subject, and no one person can do everything. As such, not all body shops offer a full range of services. Some of them are highly specialized, which means they may not have the right people to do the job you need. Before bringing your vehicle to a body shop, you should definitely verify that they are willing and able to do the type of work that you need.
5. Completion Timeframe
If you are like most people, you need your car on an everyday basis. Being without a vehicle is a major inconvenience that can cause you to miss all sorts of commitments. For that reason, you should always ask for an approximate completion time. Bear in mind that it’s hard to predict that kind of thing, but they should be able to give you some kind of an estimate. If nothing else, this will give you an idea of how efficient this particular shop might be. You should also bear in mind that busy shops will usually take longer to get the job done.
6. Rental Cars Or Loaners
Once again, being without your vehicle for an extended period of time can be a massive inconvenience. If you have only one vehicle, that inconvenience becomes much bigger. For some people, this might simply be unacceptable. Unfortunately, employers are not always sympathetic to these kinds of problems, which can put you at risk of being disciplined or fired.
For that reason, it’s a good idea to see if the body shop offers rental or loaner vehicles. Even if such vehicles aren’t the best in the world, they can at least get you through until your vehicle is fixed. Most of the better body shops will have some kind of loan or rental plan. Even if they don’t offer loaner vehicles themselves, they may have a good business relationship with another company that does.
7. Dealing With The Insurance Company
Insurance companies are pretty much always involved with the process of collision repair. Not all vehicle repairs require that you deal with the insurance company, but collision repairs generally do. As such, you need to find out who will be dealing with the insurance company.
If the body shop in question has a good working relationship with your insurance company, they can probably handle most of those interactions. If not, then you will need to keep in contact with your insurance provider and make sure they are kept updated on the situation. They will probably also send an adjuster out to verify the damage and make their own estimate.
8. OEM Parts
OEM stands for “original engine manufacturer.” That’s just a fancy way of saying that these are original parts that come straight from the manufacturer. In most cases, OEM parts are the best option, so you should verify that your chosen body shop uses them.
Even if you are dealing with a credible and competent repair shop, it is very important to ask the right questions. If nothing else, it makes your expectations clear to all involved. You might be able to think of some other relevant questions before you head to any of the auto body shops in South Jersey. Of course, if you want the best NJ body shop, your best bet is to call Elmer’s Auto Body at (856) 218-0202.