Do you look forward to going to the DMV? Or how about the dentist? (Sorry, dentists.) River City Auto Body 'gets it' that you're not necessarily overjoyed to be facing a collision repair either. Here's a short list of things to look for in a reputable facility to return your car to you with the fewest headaches.
1) Don't let the insurance company shop for you. If they tell you have to go to a certain shop, it's called steering, and that's not legal. They can recommend, but not require. See our two articles on steering.
2) Ask your friends. Internet reviews are nice, but you don't know those reviewers like you know your friends. Referrals are the life blood of any business. More importantly, referrals tell you who your friends trust.
3) Look for certifications. A shop that keeps fit, finish, durability, value, and safety top of mind is what certifications represent. You'll eliminate 9 of 10 body shops if you search only for ones with I-CAR certification. I-CAR Gold Class shops have current, up-to-date training that contributes to complete, safe, and quality repairs. Only 10 percent of shops currently complete the rigorous training requirements.
You'll also want to see what the vehicle manufacturers, like Ford, certify in the training, tools, and technology needed to provide top-notch repairs. Also, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) certifications are as important as your seatbelt. With all the technology in the vehicles today, you just can’t repair the cars the way you did 10 years ago… even five years ago. Without knowing current techniques, the vehicle occupants’ safety is at risk. Certifications show which shops and technicians are qualified to do the repair.
River City Auto Body invests a lot of time and money in the training and certification of our team. It’s the right thing to do for them professionally, it helps us stand out professionally from competing shops and dealerships, and it is the absolute best thing to do for you and your vehicle. That being said, we’ll have three more tips in the second part of this series, including a real eye-opener on how a repair shop might be paying your deductible.
Photo by Sorapong Chaipanya, used with permission.