We have all heard the stories of people who took their beloved vehicle to the wrong collision repair shop and their car was never “right” again. The thought of seeking repair after an automobile accident is enough to make most of us shudder. How do we know what we are getting for our money? How do we compare shops and know we are not being taken advantage of?

Why the difference in price?

Estimates for repairs can vary tremendously. It is mind blowing that one shop gives you an estimate for $600.00 and the next shop gives you an estimate for $2600.00. We do not understand. Can the prices for the materials be that different? That is not likely. Is the labor doubled? Probably not. There are logical reasons why the prices are often so far apart. Identifying these reasons will allow you to make a choice based on the repairs and quality and not simply on the costs. How do they determine their prices? Are you paying a set fee or an hourly rate? Are they using the standard repair cost calculations? How the shop determines the rates for their repair costs is a major factor in your price.

Parts

Ask the repair shops what kind of parts they are using in their estimate. Are they selling you new parts, used parts, or aftermarket parts? The costs of the parts have a direct effect on the cost of the repairs. Further, sometimes the difference in the cost of a new part over a used part is close enough that you may want to pay the difference in order to get the new part if it makes you more comfortable. None of these options are “wrong” but they are something that affects the repair costs and you must determine what you are willing to pay for.

Location and overhead

A business in a prime location is going to pay a higher overhead than a business in a less populated area. The building, number of employees, and overhead cost of the super-store is absorbed somewhere. While large chains often have better prices due to their buying power, that is not always the case. A family owned business that is well established and has a low overhead is often the better choice. Be sure you are comparing like products and services in order to really understand the costs. Remember, you pay for convenience.

Warranty

The warranty included will make a difference. Most shops offer a standard warranty on their workmanship and most parts come with a manufacturer’s warranty, but ask about warranties on things like the paint job.

Business

Ask for references. Ask your friends and family for recommendations. Check the company’s status with the Better Business Bureau and the complaint record. How long have they been in business? Are they fully insured and bonded? These are standard inquiries we should make with any company we do business with.

In Posey County, there are many quality auto collision repair shops. Here are two that we feel are exceptional. We encourage you to do your own research and find a shop that fits your needs.

Lefler Collision & Glass

This award winning nationally recognized collision repair shop continually ranks in the highest ratings in the Posey County area. They have high standards, state of the art equipment, and skilled technicians.

Bartley’s Body Shop

While researching the topic, we noticed one word came up every time we saw Bartley’s. That word is “quality”. Bartley’s is a long standing member of the community and their work is exceptional. The customers that rate Bartley’s, continually rate them as top of the line regarding quality, honesty, and service.