When your car is involved in an accident, it can be hard to think clearly. Typically you are too consumed with trying to repair your main method of transportation that you can forget to ask some important questions.

And taking your car to the first auto body repair shop you find can be a big mistake. It is important that you do your research when looking for the right shop. Here are five important questions to ask before handing your car over to the professionals.

  1. Does the shop warranty its work? Most repair shops will offer some kind of warranty on their work, but these warranties can vary dramatically on how long they last and what work is covered. Be sure to ask if the actual work, and not just the replacement parts, is covered by the warranty.
  2. Does the shop supply loaner vehicles? Some shop will provide rental cars for your use while your car is being repaired, but check with your insurance to see what is covered. Typically if you bring your car in for repair, it is your responsibility to find alternate forms of transportation. But if the repair work being done is warranty work, the repair shop should provide a loaner vehicle for your use since it is the shop’s fault that you are stuck without a car.
  3. Does the shop specialize in your make or model? Certain repair shops specialize is European cars versus American cars. It is important to ensure the repair shop you choose has the expertise necessary to get the job done. It’s also important that shops have a relationship with the manufacturer to ensure you are receiving original factory parts and to match paint colors.
  4. Can you get a written estimate? Make sure to get everything in writing, from labor and time estimates to final cost, before you make your selection. This will help when shopping for the right repair shop. Comparing estimates side by side gives you the upper hand and helps you make an informed decision. Then, compare the estimate to the final bill and question any discrepancy.
  5. Is the auto body shop certified? Certifications such as I-CAR and ASE are the first sign that the shop you have selected is a reputable repair shop. These documents certify that the auto repair technicians have the knowledge and skills necessary to put your vehicle back together properly.

Now you are armed with the proper resources to make an informed decision. For more information on Suburban Auto Body and our policies and procedures, visit www.suburbanautobody.com.