Finding the Right Body Shop

Body shop in doral

As much as we hate to think about it, the odds are that most of us will be involved in some type of motor vehicle accident in our lifetimes. The aftermath can be busy and frustrating, evenn if insurance covers the repairs.

Today’s accidents tend to cause much more significant damage to our vehicles than did the ones at the beginning of the 20th century. The predecessor to the automobile was an 8000 lb self-powered vehicle used to haul cannons and was constructed in 1789. It was, as you might guess, pretty difficult to dent. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that vehicles became common, and as a result, accidents became common. Still, the 1901 only had a 35 horsepower engine and the 1901-1906 Oldsmobile had only one cylinder and three horsepower in addition to being steered with a tiller. Accidents involving such slow rates of speed were also much less significant than the accidents we see today.

In 1916, more than half of the world’s cars were Ford Model T’s and had horsepower of only 20. By contrast, today’s vehicles have horsepower ranging between 110 and 480. It comes as no surprise, given this information, that today’s accidents tend to be far more damaging to vehicle bodies.

In the event of a car accident, no matter how minor, it is always wise to take photos of the vehicles and exchange information with the other driver. The next step, especially if there has been moderate to significant damage, is to call a body repair shop. Collision repair centers specialize in restoring the bodies of vehicles that have sustained damage. Though it is often tempting to call the first body repair shop you find, it is not recommended. Instead, do a little research about local body shops so that you can find the best body repair shop in your area. Here are a few tips for sorting through them.

  1. Ask around. Advertisements can be put out by anyone, but friends and family members will have the real scoop about which body repair shops produce great results. Check out auto body shop reviews online, as well. People will usually write reviews for experiences that made an impression either excellent or abysmal.
  2. Look at location and overhead. Labor hours are what usually add on quickly at body repair shops. Larger shops with a lot of workers typically charge higher rates in order to pay their staff. Know what is needed and what that costs without labor when you assess an estimate.
  3. Acquire plenty of estimates. If you can, get several repair quotes in order to avoid overcharges. Some businesses will even match estimates if you bring back a lower one from another body shop. Don’t necessarily go with the lowest bidder, either. If it’s far lower than what others are charging, there is probably something not being done.
  4. Ask a lot of questions. Is there a written warranty? What does it cover and how long does it last? Is there fire and theft insurance on the shop? Will used or aftermarket body parts be used?
  5. Trust your gut. If you feel like a body repair shop is shady, it probably is.

Repairs on modern cars can be expensive, but with these tips you should be able to find a shop offering fair prices and great work. More on this.

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