You get into an accident and now you need your car repaired at a San Antonio collision center. Finding a body shop before anything happens makes the process smoother when your car needs auto body repair.
Dozens of San Antonio body shops offer collision repair. So how do you know which one is right for you? The easiest way to narrow it down is to research the details that affect quality and customer service.
Find Reviews and Recommendations
If you are searching online for “collision repair near me,” then you can do some quick research about the collision centers you find. Keep in mind that online reviews may not tell all sides of what happened, but they can serve as an initial gauge for how well an auto body shop does business.
Ask people you know if they have used a nearby collision center and learn more about that experience. Take a close look at those vehicles to see the quality of repairs.
Direct Repair Shop
Your insurance agent may also recommend a San Antonio body shop. Insurance companies call these shops direct repair shops, or DRP. The insurance companies set specific criteria for preferred shops. Insurance companies routinely monitor the shops to make sure they maintain high-standards.
If you decide to use a DRP, the benefit is the repair process will be more streamlined. DRP shops do not have to wait for an insurance adjuster to write the estimate and order parts, so this saves time.
Keep in mind that you are not required to use a body shop that your insurance company recommends, but it is a recommendation you can consider.
Multiple Shop Operations
You may see come collision shops that have more than one location in the area. Some may be locally owned, which can be a benefit if you prefer to support locally owned businesses. Others may be nationwide. There are benefits to using a shop with multiple locations and that has local owners.
Choosing a shop with more than one location means more resources. If one stop doesn’t have the right technology or parts needed, another shop may have them. It’s also helpful for technicians if they need to seek expertise from another technician.
If you have an issue with any repairs, but you are not near the location that did the work, another location should have access to your records and take care of any warranty work.
There are several different types of certifications in the collision repair industry. To make it easier in your search, find out about two specific types of certifications; certified collision repair and the I-CAR Gold Class recognition.
In some years, there are more than 100 redesigned vehicles on the market. With new technology and styles, it’s important for technicians to continuously train. Find out if the shop where you want to take your vehicle has technicians who can provide you with certified collision repair on your model of vehicle. If so, that means a technician has been certified by the manufacturer to make the repairs on your vehicle back to factory standards. If your vehicle is new, find out how recently the technician was certified.
Beyond certified collision repair is the I-CAR Gold Class recognition. This is the top level of role-relevant training achievement in the collision repair industry. A body shop is required to maintain the relevant training across all repair roles. It also means the shop commits to the highest standards of professionalism.
Technology to Repair Technology
Technology requires technology to repair. If you have the opportunity to visit a body shop, take a look at the equipment that location has to fix cars. Outdated technology is not a good sign.
It is often a requirement by manufacturers for the shop to have the correct technology and equipment to repair their vehicles, if they want to be certified. Also, multiple shop operations have reached a level of success to continuously invest in the locations and may have the necessary tools to do the work.
Aftermarket or OEM?
There are two categories of parts that shops can use to fix your vehicle. Original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, parts are made by the manufacturer of your car. Aftermarket parts are made by a variety of companies.
Aftermarket parts typically cost less than OEM, but they may not function as well or fit as well as original parts. If you are concerned about the value of your car once you sell it, OEM parts can help maintain that value. A quality body shop will provide you with the option to use OEM parts. However, if you choose to repair a totaled car you may decide to use aftermarket parts.
A quality body shop will back the work performed on your vehicle with a warranty. Should anything happen related to the repairs made to your car, the body shop will repair it at no additional cost to you.
Find out what the warranty covers and for how long. Some shops offer a lifetime warranty, which means it is good for as long as you own the car.
ProCare Automotive & Collision has served San Antonio area customers for nearly 20 years. We offer a National Limited Lifetime Warranty on any collision repairs and the Axalta Nationwide Guarantee on paint work. We have four locations that are in and around the San Antonio area. Our certified technicians are ready to show you how collision repair can be hassle-free and efficient.