For most people, contracting a car accident is a traumatic experience. However, if the injuries are limited or if the only thing damaged is the car, the worst is perhaps to come. Having a repaired vehicle can often be a frustrating and annoying experience testing the patience and mental health of the vehicle owner. Dealing with insurance companies and auto repair shops can be an expensive and emotionally draining event. However, by understanding the process, it can be made a little easier and more likely to result in a positive experience.
The first step in the repair process is to obtain an inspection and an estimate. Learning a little more about this process will help you get your vehicle repaired at the lowest price, in the shortest possible time and with the best quality.
The first thing to understand is that estimating and repairing collisions is a time-consuming process. It is essential to get estimates from at least three different repair shops – it takes time, but it is worth it. Although most of the estimation process is done with the help of computer software that uses industry standards and sets prices, there is still room for discretionary costs and varied labor prices. When you take your car to a store for an estimate, there are many things that a repair technician is looking for. These are part of the initial inspection:
- Determine the point of impact and the intensity of the impact to determine and locate the less obvious damaged areas.
- Check all steel components of the vehicle for welding or replacement requirements.
- Verification of all plastic parts
- Understanding the vehicle's repair history to help distinguish old damage from new
- Determination of damage to engine parts.
- Determination of the damage of the suspension system
- painting needs.
This group of tasks is part of this estimate:
- Check availability of parts and prices
- Determine the total number of hours of labor required to replace parts and repair damage, including paint.
- Prepare documentation detailing all necessary repairs, parts, prices and hours of work. ] Detail the procedures that must be sent – mechanics, suspension, engine repair, etc.
- Explain each item shown on the estimate to the vehicle owner.
Once these checklists are completed, it is time for you, the owner, to make a decision. You need to determine if the body technician has gone through all these steps. Otherwise, it may be wise to move on to the next place. If the checklist is complete, this shop should be considered. This is, however; always important to make sure to obtain at least three estimates. With multiple estimates, you can make an informed decision based on total cost, total time to complete all repairs and customer service.