How to Choose an Auto Body Shop

Choosing the right body shop when your vehicle has been involved in a collision is like trying to choose the right doctor for your sick child- you only want the very best! Also, because time is of the essence when you are trying to get your car back to drivable condition, it can be tempting to just pick a body shop at random from search engine results in your area. But how do you know you are choosing the body shop that is going to offer you the best service and results, for an affordable price? Some things to consider when shopping around for collision repair services include:

  • Word-of-Mouth- Does your brother-in-law swear by a particular body shop? Does your hairdresser vow never to do business with a certain auto repair place again? When you’ve been in a collision, it pays to hear what others have to say about their past body shop experiences. Ask anyone whose opinion you trust- friends, neighbors, family, etc.- to see what they recommend. Sites like Yelp are also useful for reading customer reviews for businesses. You can see what kind of rating body shops near you have and go with the most reputable one of the bunch.
  • Location- Convenience plays a key role when choosing the right body shop for your collision repair. It can be extremely difficult to get to a shop that is located far from you, especially if you don’t have a backup or rental vehicle and are at the mercy of others to drive you.
  • Estimates- Though it can seem to take up a lot of time, it is worthwhile to take your vehicle to at least three body shops for estimates before choosing which shop will do your repair work. This can protect you against being overcharged. But don’t be tempted to simply go with the lowest quote. Anyone who says they can do your repair for significantly cheaper than the average quotes you have received is probably cutting corners by ordering cut-rate parts or skipping a few steps, and may not do the repair right.
  • Gut Feeling- If you walk into an auto body shop and you are made to wait a long time before the receptionist assists you, or if you feel as though you are being handled with less than stellar customer service, or if you simply have a bad feeling about the place, go with your gut instinct and find another body shop. A reputable body shop that is trying to earn and keep your business shouldn’t have any trouble answering any questions you may have with honesty and courtesy, and you shouldn’t be made to feel as though you are not receiving straightforward communication about your repair.

For the gold standard in auto body repair, visit Dabler Auto Body We pride ourselves upon excellent customer service and quality repairs done by knowledgeable certified technicians. For over 48 years, we have been Salem’s place for first-class collision repair with exceptional customer care. Contact us today to schedule your collision repair

28 thoughts on “How to Choose an Auto Body Shop

  1. I’ve been trying to figure out where I should go to get my car fixed up. I didn’t even think about checking for word-of-mouth! That seems like a great way to find a good auto body shop. Thanks for sharing!

  2. My son was unfortunately involved in a car accident a few weeks ago, and we are in need of a collision repair shop for the car. I like the idea you give of getting estimates from a few different shops before choosing the shop to go with so that we can choose the best price. I imagine that it would also be beneficial to look into reviews from former clients to make sure that the price matches the quality of work they offer. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Jen,

      Thanks for your feedback. Yes, we think reviews are a great way to go when choosing a collision center. We have a review tab on our website for customers to see our review and to leave a review. We have over 200 reviews from 5 different sites for people to look at.

  3. I think word of mouth is probably the best way to find the shop you’re looking for. Everyone has to have their cars repaired and checked up, so it’s easy to find people with recommendations. People like friends and family aren’t going to refer you to a bad place.

    • Nash,

      You are very right! We have been doing business for 49 years in Salem, Oregon and for 47 of those years, we didn’t have a website. Crazy yes, but it is proof that word of mouth really works when you take care of your customers. Thanks for commenting.

  4. I loved your comparison between finding a repair shop to finding a doctor. I just want the job done right! I recently got in a car wreck. Trying to figure out insurance and where to take my car.

    • Skylar,
      Thanks. We Believe that the most important job of a body shop is to fix the car the right way. NOT the fast way!

  5. I like that you talked about how you should think about the location of the auto body shop. That does seem like a big thing to consider if you only have the one car. That way, it isn’t too hard to get too once the repairs are done.

    • Emily,
      Most good shops will also be happy to give you a ride to your house, or pick you up. Just ask them if they can offer you that service.

  6. I think it’s a great idea to get estimates from different shops. I had a friend that was in an accident, and he wasn’t sure who to go to. I will have to see if he has found any places, and if they have given him an estimate. Thanks for the tips.

  7. I love how paying attention to the gut feeling you have about an auto body repair shop is one of the factors to consider. It’s usually always better to choose a place where you feel comfortable. It seems nerve-racking to send your car to a place you don’t really trust.

  8. References and referrals seem to be the best way to find auto shops and other car repairs problems. I think that it would be important to make sure to ask the people that give you the references how the shop handled their repairs and how the job has held up. With that information, you will be able to make a better decision on whether or not to choose that shop for your car.

  9. You made a good point about how convenience plays a key role when choosing a good auto repair shop to service your vehicles. Location seems like ti would be the biggest factor in making that convenient. I would probably also spend some time talking with past or current customers to get a feel for what the service is like.

  10. My husband was recently in an accident, and we are looking to find a collision repair shop to help fix his car. It’s important that we find someone that can provide quality service at a reasonable price. As you said, it is worthwhile to get estimates from at least 3 different shops. We will be sure to do this.

  11. A friend of mine had his car body damaged pretty badly not too long ago, and we were thinking about helping him find someone to fix it up for him. I really like that you say to make sure that the company is located near you. It would be nice to know that you won’t have to worry about driving super far away to get help.

  12. I do like that the article makes reference to location being a big factor to consider when choosing an auto body shop. After all, you actually have to get your car to the shop before they can repair it. If you already know that your car is damaged or in need of repair, then you don’t want to have to drive it too far to get the help that it needs.

  13. My uncle recently purchased a classic Mustang. He wants to have it painted yellow, so he’a looking for a good car paint service. I never knew how important it is to choose a place that gives accurate estimates to ensure you protect yourself from being overcharged. I’ll be sure to share this info with my uncle.

  14. I really like how you said a big part in finding a good auto shop is by word of mouth, whether through friends of family. It’s a reliable source that you can trust. I’ve had take my car in to a shop for maintenance reasons as well as bigger repairs. It definitely puts your mind at ease knowing your car is in good hands.

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