Your Rights For Body Shop Repairs

Choosing the right body shop should be an easy and stress free experience

Not all body shops are the same and some not even close. This is why choosing the right body shop is important information. A reputable body shop employing factory trained, using the proper tools and equipment, very competent technicians, following all recommended repair and replacement procedures, and operating in an ethical manner can make all the difference not only in how your car is repaired, but equally important, how you’ll feel about driving and owning your car afterwards.

The average consumer will not know if a shop has trained staff, the proper tools and equipment or not. But there is a list of things you should look for, and questions you should ask.

First, take a very good look around the shop’s work area. A relatively clean, organized shop is a sign of professionalism. Just because body work can sometimes be very dirty and dusty, doesn’t mean that the shop should look and appear this way.

Second, look for certificates and or plaques displaying and or stating the shop is a current member of the local Better Business Bureau or are members of local, regional, and or national trade organizations such as a state auto body association. All certified shops will have and have to display certifications for business and technicians.

Third, Ask what kind of training the shop technicians have had, or if they are certified or recognized by some entity. Some examples are listed below. You may also want to ask about the criteria for certification or what the training includes. Don’t be scared to ask questions. It is your vehicle being repaired and it is the second highest investment in your lifetime.

What to look for and ask

Third-Party Certifications: There are some third-party organizations within the industry that have their own certification programs. Be sure to ask your shop about third-party programs and the program’s criteria.

Factory Training: Some car manufacturers provide their own collision repair training. And your dealer will have its own body shop and not send you out to a preferred choice down the street.

I-CAR Training: The Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, more commonly known as I-CAR, is a not-for-profit international training organization dedicated to improving collision repair. The I-CAR vision is that every person in the collision industry, present and future, has the necessary knowledge and skills relevant to their position, to achieve a complete repair. Those shops achieving I-CAR’s highest level of training are designated as Gold Class.

ASE Certified: The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, more commonly known as ASE, works to improve the quality of vehicle repair and service by testing and certifying automotive repair professionals. Look for the blue and white ASE insignia certified technicians proudly wear on their uniforms. Those shops achieving ASE’s highest level of certification are designated as ASE Blue Seal.

OEM Certification / Recognition Program

Some vehicle manufacturers have shop certification or recognition programs. Each has their own criteria. Be sure to ask the shop if it participates in a certification or recognition program for your brand of vehicle.

You may also want to look for certificates of completed training from paint companies, refinish products suppliers or industry training centers; and check with co-workers, family, friends, your dealer, service writer, parts department who have recently been through the collision repair process. Be sure you are comfortable with the body shop and are reasonably sure that it will provide a safe and proper repair for your vehicle.

You will have to live with the results of its work for a long time. Don’t be scared to follow up with repairs, call the shop during the time it is being worked on. Visit the shop and ask to see your car and have an explanation of what is being done and what has been done. Look for OEM parts and labels, part numbers on the parts being replaced. 

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us anytime.