Getting into an accident is a stressful situation. First make sure that you are ok, then survey the damage on your car. If you are in a busy street or highway, make sure to pull the side and maintain safety above all. Where you go through insurance, yours or the party that hit your car, or whether you decide to pay out-of-pocket, make sure you know your rights. Choosing the repair facility where you will fix your car is an important decision. In most states in the U.S. you have the right to choose the repair facility of your choice. After all, it’s your car. It’s your decision.
However, not all shops are the same. Make sure you choose a reputable business that has had an outstanding track record. Nowadays, with the ease of the Internet, you can find a lot of information about any specific repair facility. Ensure that the shop has good reputation, excellence in service, and quality repairs. Make sure that the repair facility provide a written guarantee of the work they do, which you will get at the end of the repairs. Also, you may want to check if the shop you choose has Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (OEM) certifications on your specific make. If your car is drivable, make a stop at the shop, meet the people, and get an impression of the staff and the facility before you commit to fixing your car there.
If you are going through insurance, yours or the party that hit your car, the insurance will recommend, and most likely use suggestive key words (such as “authorized, preferred, or certified”) to attract you to their network of shops, often called Direct Repair Facilities (DRP). The insurance companies prefer to send you to their DRPs because they negotiated lower rates and cut their overall costs of the repairs compared with shops that are not part of the DRP network. Always, check the reputation of the shop that the insurance recommends. Remember that in most state, you are not required to go to the shop the insurance recommends. After all, it’s your car. It’s your decision where your car is repaired. So choose wisely.
Once you committed to a specific shop to repair your car, make sure that you are aware of the repairs on the car. Is the shop replacing any parts? If yes, is the shop using new, used, or aftermarket (i.e. generic) parts. Be sure you know what is done to your car BEFORE the work has started. The more you know what is done on your car, and get a copy of everything that was done on your car with a written warranty, the better you protect your car and the ultimate quality of the repairs.
At CertifiedShops.com we carefully screen the shops that submit a request for listing. Only about 10% of all shops in the country have any OEM certifications. We check reputation both online and offline and continuously verify certification status. We only select the top-tier OEM certified shops. No matter where you choose to repair your vehicle, make sure you take every step to protect yourself and your investment, whether owned or leased, your car.
[ Want to know more about your rights? Read our other article 10 Facts To Know Before Your Car is Repaired ]