Some people have never had to take their cars to the auto repair shop by themselves before. Perhaps they have only recently bought their own vehicle or just started living on their own after years of living with family, where a parent or other relative was always willing to take the car into the shop. Or maybe they are lucky enough to have never been involved in an accident or experienced a serious vehicle malfunction. Whatever the reason, getting your car fixed can be a stressful experience if you have never had to do so before, or if you have always been accompanied by a parent or spouse. It’s good to know a little bit about the process so you won’t be as nervous about it.
First, you should do some research and make sure you pick the best body shop possible. If you can make an in-person visit, you should ascertain that the shop is neat and organized, has clean and modern equipment, and has posted their policies regarding guarantees, methods of payments, and rates for labor services in a place visible to customers. Additionally, you should make sure that the auto repair shop is registered with the Better Business Bureau and has received a favorable score. Finally, you should check out what other customers have to say. Websites like Yelp are a great way to learn about what others have experienced when they went to a business you are thinking of going to. You may find a hidden gem or learn the truth about a shop you were considering.
Once you go to the auto repair shop, you will need to know a bit about the procedure you car requires. For many large jobs, you should be able to get an estimate of how much money the work will cost to complete. Then, the staff will not be able to charge you more than 10% of that estimate without first obtaining your approval. For routine jobs such as oil changes, estimates are not given because the work costs the same every time.
After the job is done, the auto repair shop will give you an invoice. This isn’t just a traditional bill with a price for the general service performed. By law, body shops must compile a detailed list of the services rendered to your vehicle. The invoice must also contain a list of replacement parts that were put into your car, and whether those parts were new or used, and if they were formerly part of a car that was involved in a collision. The invoice will help you understand exactly what was done to your car and will make it easier to spot any errors in the price or services rendered.
Finally, many auto repair shops offer perks for customers who bring their cars there, such as a free car wash or inspection after the work on your car is finished. This increases customer satisfaction and maximizes the possibility that the customer will make a return trip in the future. In any event, it doesn’t hurt to ask if they offer any complimentary services. You might be pleasantly surprised at the answer!