Okay, so the car has gotten into a wreck. There’s some very visible damage. It’s okay, take a moment to calm down and bleed some of that frustration. Most damage is repairable, and going through the process is not as daunting as it seems if approached promptly and with the right attitude. The common issue is that most people don’t know what to expect from a car repair estimate, and that causes an inordinate amount of anxiety. So here is a compilation of simple and useful tips to ease the process and make it a little less of a hassle.
10 Take A Deep Breath
Again, the first thing to do when an accident or any sort of damage happens is calm down. Being anxious or upset about possible repairs only makes the process more difficult, for the driver and the mechanic who doesn’t want to deal with a hysterical customer. This is easier said than done of course, but it’s an important reminder.
It’s also important to note that not all damage even needs a repair estimate. It’ll take some time to get it all done, but with a good attitude, it can go by a lot quicker. So try not to freak out.
9 Avoid Online Estimators
It’s tempting to turn to Google for answers when in an accident since we tend to turn to Google for everything else. However, it’s wise to proceed with extraordinary caution. There are plenty of options when it comes to online estimators, but they’re a dime a dozen for a reason: their ability to be accurate can only go so far. Remember this because it’s important: a rough estimate is not an estimate at all. While an online estimate might give you something by way of a ballpark (a very big ballpark), at best, its practice before getting to the real thing.
8 Find An Autoshop
This is the most important part. In order to get a quality estimate and work, one has to find an auto shop that will deliver a high standard of quality. This takes some effort and research on the part of the driver. No two auto shops are alike, and no two mechanics are made equal.
To find the right one, diligently looking up reliable reviews and asking around is the key to finding somewhere worth the business. Trustworthy friends or a good rating website can recommend a suitable mechanic who will give an honest damage estimate. Don’t give up!
7 Don’t Delay Making An Appointment
Once the auto shop is found, make an appointment right away. There’s no point in delaying. The quicker the appointment is made the quicker the mechanic can take a look at the car and get to work on the estimate. Once the itemized estimate is in hand, the driver can decide if they’re happy with the number or if they’d like to have a further assessment done. Then getting the repairs done is easy-peasy from there. Unless the goal is to sports car damage like a badge of honor, try not to let too much time go past before booking an appointment. Many people recommend getting more than one estimate.
6 Get Involved
Most auto shops will let a customer drop their car off while they assess it. That’s awesome for someone who has a busy schedule because they can get on with their day while their car is being taken care of; but, just because the car is dropped off doesn’t mean it should leave the mind. Check-in with the mechanic periodically. When brought in, ask detailed questions and ask for explanations for their assessment. When these kinds of precautions are taken, it’s more beneficial for the customer and makes things easier for the mechanic who knows what the customer wants.
5 Ask About Hidden Damage
When questioning the mechanic, a super important question is to ask about hidden damage. Some of the worst damage done to a car after an accident is what you can’t see. A good mechanic will always check for this kind of thing.
And while it may be listed on the rundown, they may not mention it to the car owner explicitly. So asking outright is the wisest course of action. Knowing is better than not knowing in this case. Internal damage to the car will, nine times out of ten, be worse than any bumps and dings that can be seen.
4 Get Multiple Estimates
So the auto shop has been thoroughly researched, and the estimate has been given. So far the mechanic has done a good job, but maybe there’s a funny feeling that can’t be shaken. Those feelings are normal and even worth listening too. There’s no shame in getting more than one estimate for the damage. Sometimes different auto shops have varying prices when it comes to estimates; or, maybe there’s an inkling that there might be more damage there than the mechanic found. Whatever the reason, it’s never a bad decision to get a second opinion. There won’t be any love lost.
3 Don’t Let The Insurance Delay The Process
Insurance for anything can present an unwieldy opponent, but car insurance can be especially difficult. Insurance companies inspections or estimates can delay repairs unnecessarily.
Sometimes it can take up to a week or more for the insurance to get someone to look at the car, so there’s no reason to wait if it is possible to use an independent auto shop and pay out of pocket. It is possible to get the insurance company to reimburse whatever amount was paid for repairs, however, this strategy has varying results. If the goal is expediency and it is affordable, definitely go for it.
2 Negotiate If Necessary
If the price quoted doesn’t seem to fit the repairs, don’t hesitate to speak up. Negotiate, haggle, or do whatever is necessary to get adequate repairs and get back on the road. Mechanics and adjusters are willing to work with someone who is reasonable and knows what they want. So don’t be afraid. A conversation beforehand could prevent another trip back to the shop because the repairs were not extensive enough. If, on the other hand, the price seems to be too much, it might be better to consider other options. But that shouldn’t be the most important concern.
1 Don’t Only Consider Price
It’s always the goal to get the job done at an affordable price, but the quality is the most important thing always! There are only a couple reasons the price of a car damage estimate would look that good: cheaper providers use cheaper parts, parts more prone to breakdown, and often do a sloppy job. In that case, the results are what was ultimately paid for. When the job is done isn’t up to par, more money will be spent in the long run trying to undo or prevent further damage. It’s in the best interest of the driver to be concerned about the quality of work, and then see what can be done about the price.