how to find a good body shop

How to find a good body shop

Stew Broward
Head of PR (Enzo Collision)
August 28, 2023
Does your car need body repairs or touch-ups? Whatever it is, you should only go to a reputable body shop you can trust. This way, your vehicle will get top-notch care, no matter how big or small the damage is. But with dozens of options in Burbank, CA, knowing how to find a good auto body repair shop may seem like a challenge – that is until you read this guide.
In this post, our team created a checklist of what you need to look for when scouting for a body shop. We also listed red flags that you should watch out for to ensure that you’re dealing with an expert.

What is an auto body shop?

Whether your car got involved in an accident or you just some touch-ups, finding the right repair shop is crucial. However, you should know that not all ‘repair shops’ can fix specific damage on your vehicle.
If you need repairs for your car’s damaged body, you should head to an auto body shop. But if your vehicle needs mechanical repairs, say a transmission restoration, you should go to an auto repair shop.
So what’s the difference, you ask? Let us explain briefly.
What do auto body shops do? This repair shop focuses on restoring the exterior of your vehicle, which includes the panels, bumpers, frame, paint job, windows, windshields, and similar parts. As they are called, auto body shops only work on the car’s ‘body’.
On the other hand, auto repair shops specialize in diagnosing and restoring mechanical issues. They are also the shop to go to if you need help with your car’s electronics, engine, brakes, transmission, air conditioning system, and so on.

How to find a good auto body repair shop

Knowing how to pick a body shop after an accident is crucial for many reasons. First, it ensures that your car will be restored to its pre-accident condition. Second, it also guarantees your safety on the road once the repairs are done.
So if you’re looking for a reliable auto shop, here are the things you should look for:

1. Check what repairs you need

Before you search for an auto shop, you should first asses what repairs your car needs. This way, you’ll have more productive conversations with your preferred auto shop later on.
First, check what visible damage your car has. It can be a dent, crumpled panel, scratches, or an entire collision wreck. From there, you can narrow down your options based on the services that auto shops in your area offer.

2. Ask for referrals

Word of mouth is often the best way to find a reputable auto body shop. You can ask your friends and family if they know a reliable auto body shop you can contact. Chances are at least a few of them can give recommendations that you can check.
While you’re at it, ask the person about their experience with the shop. This way, you’ll have a firsthand assessment of the quality of their service. Also, you’ll know what to expect once you contact them.

3. Check the shop’s credentials

Once you have your preferred shop, the next thing you should do is check their credentials. Don’t hesitate to ask about their licenses and certifications from different organizations like Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). If you’re opting for collision repair, make sure that the shop has a certification from the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR).
Aside from that, the auto body technicians should also be licensed and certified. This way, you’ll be assured of quality repairs on your vehicle.

4. Visit the shop

If possible, try to visit the shop where you plan to bring your car. There, you can have an in-person consultation with a technician about the repairs you can get. If your car is still in good driving condition, you can also bring it over, so the technicians can personally inspect the damage.
While you’re there, observe the cleanliness and organization of the show. Most the time, these two things will say a lot about the quality of their service.

5. Request for an estimate

Before you commit to any repairs, make sure that you ask for an estimate. This way, you can compare it with other shops to see which one offers the best value for money.
Make sure that you read the estimate properly and check how much they charge for parts, labor, and additional services. If there are any vague fees, don’t hesitate to ask the auto body shop for clarification.
Still, you should know that the cheapest estimate isn’t always the best option. Dirt-cheap repairs could mean that the shop is using substandard supplies and possibly unlicensed for their services.

6. Ask about their warranty coverage

A good auto body shop will always swear by its workmanship through reasonable warranty coverage. So when scouting for a shop, make sure that inquire about this part as well.
For example, with Enzo Collision, you’ll enjoy a written lifetime warranty for all repairs we’ve done. This applies as long as you own or lease the vehicle.
This way, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re protected from additional costs in case issues arise from the repairs. It’s also a good sign that the shop provides quality and long-lasting results.

7. Review their past work

The shop’s previous works are great references for the quality of their service. You can ask for before-and-after auto body repair photos to see how well they can restore vehicles. If possible, look for photos of similar repairs that you need.
If the shop refuses or tries to evade this request, consider it as a red flag. You should look for another option.

8. Inquire about the repair process

Even if you’re not well-versed in the technicalities of car repair, it’s still best that you understand what the shop will do to your car. From there, you can also assess the expertise of the technicians in fixing body damage on a car.
Ask about the repair techniques they will use and how long it will take. Aside from that, inquire if they can acquire OEM parts, especially if you’re driving a fancy vehicle model.

9. Discuss insurance and payment options

Another aspect of how to find a good auto body shop is their partnership with insurance providers. Look for a shop approved by your insurance provider to ensure that the repair costs will be covered accordingly.
Aside from that, you should discuss payment options with your preferred auto shop. You should ask if they accept direct billing from insurance companies or if you need to pay upfront and just get reimbursed later. As much as possible, look for a shop that accepts the former.

10.  Compare Quotes and Choose Wisely

As with anything that you’ll spend your money on, don’t settle for the very first auto body shop you’ll find. Always shop around and compare quotes to see where you can get the best car repairs within your budget.
Also, you should assess the shop’s reputation, customer reviews, expertise, and pricing before making your final decision. Overall, cost should be your final concern; you should always focus on the quality of their service.

Red flags to watch out for

Aside from the things you should look for, you should also be aware of the red flags that may indicate that the shop is unreliable. Here are some of it:
  • Lack of proper certifications. If the body shop can’t provide you with proof of their certifications or credentials, it’s a big red flag that they aren’t fit to do repairs.
  • Unwillingness to provide references. If the auto body shop refuses to provide you with references of their past work, it could be a sign that they aren’t confident with the quality of their repairs.
  • Poor customer service or unresponsive staff. Car repairs aren’t cheap, so a body shop with bad communication or unresponsive staff isn’t a good choice. This reflects their lack of professionalism, which will be a hassle on your part.
  • Unorganized or dirty facility. Is the shop a total mess? This could mean that their repairs are as disorganized as their facility.
  • Unrealistically low estimates. Be careful with lowballing auto shops as this could be a sign of substandard repairs. Affordability is a good thing if you want to save money, but you should ensure that it won’t impact the quality of their service.
  • No warranty coverage is offered. A reliable auto body shop will always provide some sort of guarantee for their repairs. So if your chosen shop doesn’t offer any, you should consider another option.

Looking for a reliable auto body shop in Burbank?

If you’re looking for a reliable auto body shop in Burbank, don’t hesitate to call Enzo Collision. We offer expert collision repair for any car make and model.
The best part? We offer a lifetime warranty on all our repairs and we have direct repair status from various insurance companies. For your convenience, we also provide complete auto insurance claim handling with a lawyer onsite.
Do you already have an estimate from other shops? Call us today and we’ll give you a better offer!
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