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 do car repair estimates vary so much?

Estimates for repairs can vary tremendously. If you’ve ever asked for an auto repair estimate, you know how different they can vary from shop to shop. How is it possible that one repair shop asks you for $600.00 and then another one hands you over an estimate of around $2600.00? It’s completely baffling. Surely the prices of the materials aren’t that different. Maybe the labor actually doubled? Probably not. The fact is that there are actually a few logical reasons behind the difference in prices in repair estimates. You shouldn’t base your decision on cost alone, and that’s why you need to fully understand these reasons before picking your repair shop. The way the shop determines the rates for each repair is a critical factor to consider: for example, you should pay attention to the way they choose their prices, if you’ll be paying a set or an hourly fee, if they’re calculating the repair cost in the standard way, etc.

Vehicle parts

You need to know the origin of the parts that the repair shops are using for their estimate. Will they be using totally new parts for the repair, or will they pick some used parts or aftermarket parts? You really need to ask them about this, because the actual cost of each part influences the repair cost tremendously. Moreover, when given that option, many car owners prefer to buy a slightly more expensive but totally new part that costs just a little more than an old part and that also comes with a guarantee. By knowing where the parts are coming from, you have the option to choose what’s best for your situation.

Repair shop location and overhead

Like any other business, a repair shop that is located in a prime area usually pays a much higher overhead than a shop that sits on a less popular location. When giving an estimate, the repair shop also takes this in consideration, as well as other factors, such as how many salaries need to be paid, and all the expenses that the shop is required to make, day in and day out. In order to make sense of the cost estimates, you need to make sure that when you’re comparing car repair estimates, you’re comparing between similar products and services. Often it’s best to go for a smaller, family-owned business (which has a much smaller overhead), but, depending on your situation, a bigger, larger chain can offer you the best prices. Ultimately, you’re paying for convenience, so keep that in mind.

Repair warranty

You should take note of the warranty that the repair shop is offering. While most shops will present you with a standard warranty on their workmanship, as well as a manufacturer’s warranty for the parts, we advise you to ask the shop about what kind of guarantees they have on services such as paint jobs.

Business legalities and references

Before purchasing anything, we should always ask around and make sure if the company we’re dealing with is the real deal. Auto repair shops are no different. You should always ask your friends and family for references and recommendations. Furthermore, you should also look into some basic legalities, such as checking the repair shop’s status with the Better Business Bureau and their complaint record. Remember also to check how many years they’ve been in business, and if they are fully insured and bonded.

You can find several quality auto collision repair shops in Posey County. We’ve picked two shops that we consider exceptional. However, we suggest you do your own research so you can find a repair shop that will give you what you’re looking for.

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.