If your car has been damaged by hail, it’s important to find a reputable body shop that can help you get it repaired. However, not all body shops are created equal, and with so many choices out there, it can be difficult to find the shop that will repair your car expertly, affordably, and in a reasonable time frame.
To help you choose the right shop, here are six of the biggest questions you should ask a shop before getting car hail damage repair.
#1. Is the Shop Certified?
Although many auto body shops carry general certifications, when you’re dealing with hail damage, it’s important to find a shop that’s certified in hail damage repair techniques specifically. This is because hail damage repair often requires specialized techniques that not just any auto technician can do.
Ask your body shop if they have technicians on staff that are certified to do PDR, or paintless dent repair. This is the repair method that’s used for most forms of hail damage, and it requires specialized tools and high levels of training to do.
#2. Has the Shop Worked on Your Make and Model of Car Before?
Your car’s make and model can play a big role in hail damage repair. Because of variances in material, part availability, and the complexity of your car’s build, some cars are easier to repair than others. Some cars, particularly luxury cars, may even require special techniques that not all shops will be familiar with.
When you’re choosing a shop, ask if they have experience repairing your car’s make and model specifically. If they don’t, it’s not the end of the world, but it’s always better to work with a shop that does.
#3. Will the Shop Work With My Insurance?
Hail damage car repair costs can be much more than you’re prepared to spend, which is why it’s important to have insurance coverage.
Many body shops will only accept certain insurance companies, which can make it difficult to get your car repaired if you don’t have the right coverage.
Before you choose a shop, ask if they work with your insurance company. If not, you may need to find another shop or pay for the repairs out of pocket.
#4. Does the Shop Provide a Rental Car During the Repairs?
If you need your car for daily commuting or other activities, you can’t afford to be without it for long. Fortunately, many (but not all) body shops will offer a rental car during the repair process, so you can still get around while your car is being repaired.
Before you choose a shop, ask if they provide a rental car during repairs, or if they provide reimbursement for rental cars. If not, you may need to make other arrangements for transportation while your car is in the shop.
#5. Does the Service Come With a Warranty or Guarantee?
The only thing worse than having a damaged car is having a car that needs repairs redone because they weren’t done properly the first time.
Look for a shop that offers a warranty or guarantee on their services, so you can have peace of mind knowing that your car is in good hands.
Most reputable shops will offer this, so this shouldn’t be too difficult to find.
#6. How Much Does the Service Cost?
Of course, one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a body shop is cost. This is true even if you have insurance, because it can influence your deductible.
When you’re considering different shops, ask for an estimate of how much the repairs will cost. Be sure to get this in writing, so you have it for comparison later.
Keep an eye out for estimates that seem too cheap or too expensive. They can indicate a shop that won’t do a good job, or one that’s trying to take advantage of you. A fair, honest estimate that includes details of how the price breaks down is usually the best indicator of a good shop.
By ensuring a shop is certified, has experience with your type of vehicle, works with your insurance, provides rental car options, comes with a warranty, and offers services at a reasonable price, you can be sure you’re choosing the best possible shop for your car’s hail damage repair.