There’s nothing worse than the screeching sound of a car scraping up against your car — especially when it’s not your fault.
Whether it’s a fender bender, inclement weather, or a child accidentally throwing a ball at your car, they all have one thing in common — you need to find an auto paint shop that you can trust.
In this article, we’ll give you 11 tips for choosing the best auto paint shop.
Keep reading to learn more.
1. Research the Service Provider
The most important first step for finding a reliable body shop for your beloved vehicle is to research. There are likely several places in your area that can provide the same service, but the quality and cost of the service will vary widely.
There are several things to look out for, including:
- The company’s track record
- How long they’ve been in business
- They’re references
Make sure you aren’t just settling for the first auto paint shop that shows up on Google. Do your due diligence to make sure you’re getting the best deal and the best service.
2. Check For Testimonials and Recommendations
Like most other businesses, it’s important to find a vehicle paint shop that is already trusted by other customers. Research online or ask around with trusted friends and family members to see if they’ve used an auto paint shop that they’re happy with.
Positive reviews and testimonials are a powerful signal that the shop does quality work. You should also check if the shop is BBB-accredited.
Just like positive reviews are important, so are negative ones. Look out for negative reviews to see what kind of complaints they have. Finding a body shop that is trustworthy with your vehicle is super important.
3. Compare Prices
Pricing will no doubt be one of the most important factors when it comes to choosing the body shop.
While you’re researching online for trustworthy businesses that provide vehicle maintenance, make sure you’re comparing prices as well. Get as many estimates as you can from different body shops so that you can see which one has the best price.
It’s important to never agree to a service without getting a detailed estimate about what your vehicle needs beforehand. This will ensure that you don’t get ripped off or end up with any surprise fees.
A detailed estimate will also allow you to be more knowledgeable about what’s going on, meaning you can ask specific questions about the job. Some body shops might even match estimates from other shops, so the extra work might even save you some money in the long run.
It’s important to note that the best price isn’t always the lowest one. For example, some shops might give out incredibly low estimates that are not realistic. Make sure you’re looking out for places that might seem a little bit fishy.
Also, some businesses might offer extra services that go into the price of the repair. Factor these into your cost comparison as you look at different places.
4. Choose a Business That Uses High-Quality Equipment
When you look at different places that provide vehicle paint repairs, it’s important to note the environment and the equipment that they use.
Do they keep the place clean? Do they use the highest-quality paint materials and certified equipment?
Although you might not think cleanliness might be as important for a business that does vehicle repairs, it reduces the risk of the paints being contaminated. The tiniest air particles and dust can ruin an expensive paint job.
Make sure they have the best equipment, including a negative pressure downdraft paint booth, which ensures that no grit or contaminants get into your paint job.
5. Check Their Warranty Policy
One often overlooked factor in the search for vehicle body repairs is the warranty policy.
The simple first thing to look for is to see if they actually have a warranty policy. You should never work with a body shop that doesn’t offer a warranty. Any good body shop will gladly stand by their work with a warranty.
If they do have a warranty policy, then it’s time to move to the next step. Not all warranties are the same. It’s important to see how long it lasts. Each shop will have different lengths of time, so it’s important to find one that fits your unique needs.
It should cover the minimum amount of time that you expect. However, many good shops will offer a lifetime warranty.
Lastly, check what the warranty covers. Make sure that they are not being deceptive or vague about what the warranty entails. A good shop will be very transparent and open about what the warranty covers.
6. Is It Local?
This one might be obvious, but try to look for body shops that are in your local area. Before you start looking for body shops, it’s important to note that you are not required to use the auto repairer that your insurance prefers.
Choose a shop that is comfortable for you. If you’re fine with going further to get a better deal, more power to you.
Note that where the body shop is located might affect its price. For example, body shops that are in more expensive neighborhoods will probably cost more because of their increased overhead.
Find a shop that is in a location that works for you.
7. Understand That You’ll Get What You Pay For
Like just about any other product or service in the world, you will probably get what you pay for. This means that if you care about your car, price won’t be the only consideration that you look at when shopping at different body shops.
If one shop offers significantly lower prices than other ones, you should be a bit suspicious about why. It could be that they did a bad job at estimating, everyone else is wrong about the estimate, or, most likely, they’re going to give you a low-quality service.
There might be good reasons why certain services cost less than others, but the only way to fully understand this without getting ripped off is to make sure you research from several different places before making a decision.
8. Check If They Work On Your Car Type
There are thousands of different types of cars on the road, and not all body shops specialize in the same things. When you’re doing your research, see if they specialize in the type of car you’re bringing in or not.
If they don’t, you might be the first time they’ve worked on the car. Although they might still do a great job, it’s still important to keep them in the back of your mind.
If they have worked on your type of car before, you can have peace of mind knowing that your car is in experienced hands.
9. Check Qualifications
Body shops will usually pride themselves on different types of accolades, certificates, and qualifications that they have. You can easily go in and check to see what they have or ask them directly. They might even give you license numbers for the qualifications.
10. Don’t Rush the Process
When you experience some aesthetic damage to your car, it’s understandable that you want to get it fixed as quickly as possible — but that might be the worst decision you make.
If you rush, you’ll end up sending your car to a shop that’s not right for you. You won’t be able to research properly, ask the right questions, and compare prices.
Make sure to take the time to visit shops, research, and speak to knowledgeable experts to find the place that best fits you. You want to make sure you’re working with a shop that has your best interests in mind.
11. Trust Your Gut
After doing all of your research, it’s important to always trust your gut when it comes to working with a shop. Although everything might seem good on the surface for a certain place, you might get the feeling that something isn’t right.
Trust your feelings in these situations. Your gut can often notice certain things that your brain doesn’t compute at the moment. Make sure you only work with businesses that you feel 100% comfortable with.
Find an Auto Paint Shop You Can Trust
Now that you’ve learned 11 important tips for finding an auto paint shop, it’s time to get to work. Start researching the best body shops in your area and start comparing them to see what will work the best for your unique situation.
If you’re located in the St. Petersburg, Florida area, make sure you add Flawless Auto Body Shop to your list. We pride ourselves on providing top-quality service at a great price.
Reach out to us today!