Collision repair shops are different from many other auto body shops because they deal with both cosmetic and mechanical issues with cars. Whether you’re looking to have your vehicle repaired after a collision, or you’re looking into collision repair schools, there are a few secrets everyone can benefit from knowing.
Not All Collision Repair Shops Are Created Equal
In a perfect world, every shop would do their work ethically and would provide their customers with the best work for a reasonable price. Unfortunately, there are a few bad apples out there. What does this mean to the person looking for repair?
It is important to become an active consumer. Keep an eye out for shops with a long history and a solid record of satisfied customers. For those looking into collision repair schools, the same is true. Auto training schools may differ in the amount of hands-on shop time they offer. Make sure your school of choice offers real access to industry pros.
The Secret of the Estimate
It’s unfortunate that price quotes can vary so much from one shop to another, because that simply shouldn’t be the case. In many ways, the auto insurance industry sets the tone for these quotes. They are likely to give their customers the amount they’re willing to pay for a particular repair. Unfortunately, it’s not always enough for a collision repair shop to do a quality job and still make a reasonable profit. The result? Either the insured party pays out of pocket, or the work can suffer.
It’s up to those trained in collision repair schools to restore the vehicle to OEM – original equipment manufacturers – standards. However, as technology changes, fuel-efficiency standards change, and new, light-weight and high-stretch materials can be expensive. This leaves some body shops in a position of using lower quality materials, which can affect the look and safety of a vehicle.
Getting the Best Work for the Most Reasonable Price
Most technicians go to collision repair schools because they’re interested in the industry. Typically, their goal is to get a vehicle back to tip-top shape, but costs don’t always allow for it. The goal is to work for a body shop that will give a detailed estimate. Customers deserve to know what their options are. In some cases the choice is between higher quality materials and lower quality materials. It may make sense to use lower quality materials, especially on older vehicles, but that is a decision that the vehicle owner should make.
Part of what technicians learn in collision repair schools is how to repair vehicles using the highest quality materials, but they also learn how to make the most of what’s available. The goal should be to give the customer a detailed breakdown of what’s wrong and what their options are. Give them an honest appraisal of how much it will cost to repair using the highest quality and how much using the lowest quality. Look for compromises between the two. Once they have all the information, they can make an informed decision.
If you’re interested in learning more about collision repair and technology, you can download our free e-book, Panels, Paints & Graphics: The Future of Collision Repair.