Auto body shops are a dime a dozen throughout your city and indeed the country, but this doesn’t mean they’re all created equal. It’s far too common for mechanics to give lip service when it comes to what they are capable of doing, but the truth is, many don’t have the experience or good reputation to follow through on superior services. That being said, there are plenty of trustworthy auto repair and service providers near you. You just have to know what to look for. But finding a convenient auto body location isn’t enough; you must also select a reputable provider that you can trust to provide services you can rely on time after time.
Here are some tips on finding the right auto mechanic and shop close to your home and work.
Company Location and Overhead
The location, size and overhead requirements of an auto repair shop will largely determine how much it charges for standard services. With large, multi-location shops featuring many front-office workers, you can expect to see higher prices because they have to build in a higher overhead. In terms of labor, there’s no one-size-fits-all. You have to be careful here, as different shops can charge different prices, with many inflating their labor costs because they are arbitrary by nature. Choose auto shops that use standard reference guides to estimate the number of hours needed to perform common repairs. Just keep in mind that higher-end shops and dealers often charge for things they may have to do while performing the repair, such as the time they have to put into removing the hood and doors.
Word of Mouth Recommendations
Word of mouth recommendations are an important part of the research process. These can give you clarity and insight into which company you should go with. Bottom line is, if your friends have nothing but good things to say about Shop A but all bad things to say about Shop B, you can use this as your deciding factor in choosing which to one to settle on. Advertising is certainly an effective way to market yourself, but with many small family-owned shops, they simply don’t have the budget for fancy ads. That doesn’t mean they don’t provide stellar service though. Remember: Reputation is everything. Most people don’t understand the inner workings of a vehicle and are relying on the professionalism and skill of mechanics to tell them what’s going on. Trust is a big part of this equation.
There’s no discounting skill, of course, which is why experience matters. Focus on mechanics who are skilled in all areas of auto body repair so you get well-rounded attention to detail no matter what the issue is. Talk to the owner and ask him or her a bit about the shop’s background, years in business, years of experience of each mechanic, and what training each mechanic receives. In the end, you should choose a mechanic who works with your make and model of car on a regular basis.
Cost is always a big factor in which auto shop you’ll select. Call a few shops in your area to get free estimates. Some shops will match estimates if you show them a lower one you got elsewhere. That’s because they would rather earn your business over losing you to the competition any day. But don’t be blinded by the lowest quote you get. Dirt cheap prices are hallmarks of fly-by-night mechanics who may just do the bare minimum and take your money. In addition to cost, consider other factors such as convenience of location.
So, are you ready to start searching for the right auto mechanic near you? Wall Directory makes it easy!