• Call Us : 386-872-5615

  • Hours : Mon - Fri 8am - 5pm, Closed Sat & Sun

  • 386-872-5615

Helpful Tips On Auto Repair Estimates

Sometimes, an accident is unavoidable. Here’s some helpful info to know about getting a quality repair estimate afterwards.

With more than 5 million auto accidents taking place in America each year, even the best drivers are likely to experience at least one accident at some point in their lives. If your vehicle has sustained any damage, your next step is getting a repair estimate – especially if you’ve filed an insurance claim. Most insurance companies require an estimate to meet certain standards – be sure you talk with your insurance agent to understand what those requirements are for your specific case. Often, they will even provide you with a list of pre-approved collision repair centers.

Even for scheduled maintenance or simply an unexpected repair, your mechanic should provide you with a written estimate. This will include the expected parts and labor, but it’s possible the actual cost may change if some additional parts or labor are necessary. Your mechanic should never do any work on your vehicle that’s not covered in the estimate without consulting you and getting your permission first. Never give a mechanic permission to “do whatever is necessary.”  Instead, be sure they have your contact information and ask them to consult with you if anything that differs from the original estimate crops up.

While you may be able to obtain a rough estimate over the phone, in most cases the repair shop will need to see the damage in person to give an accurate estimate – and this solution is the most preferable to save everyone involved some unexpected surprises which could cause the estimate to be more expensive than you anticipated or even delay the repair if additional parts need to be ordered.

Be sure you seek estimates from reputable businesses – only those you would actually be willing to have your vehicle repaired at. While everyone likes to save money, simply taking the easiest or cheapest option could mean a lower standard of quality, and this could be even more costly in the future. Check with friends and family to find out where they have had quality work and a good experience. Once you have a few prospects, do some research. You can consult your local Better Business Bureau and other online review sites to see personal accounts of other customers experiences. 

Be wary of a suspiciously lower estimate. Sometimes, insurance companies have deals with local repair shops who may offer cheap service in exchange for referrals. Seek multiple estimates from independent repair shops, and compare them to be sure they are similar in the description of the work that will be done. There should never be a vast difference in the cost of several quality estimates. Even if you have had your vehicle towed to the shop after an accident or breakdown, you can still seek an itemized estimate from another shop – and if you choose to use them instead, they may even tow your vehicle to them for free.

Lastly, be sure to inquire about the estimated time in which the work will be done. Again, most reputable repair shops should be within a similar range of each other, though this will vary to some degree depending on the specific shop’s work load and ability to quickly obtain necessary parts. In the long run, you may choose a shop that offers a much sooner repair even if the cost is a bit higher, if getting back on the road quickly is an important factor to you. Alternatively, if you aren’t in a rush you may decide to go with a “busier” shop – it’s a good sign if a business has a lot of happy customers.





Share this post