Repairing a Car After an Accident: What to Consider
On average there are 6 million auto accidents in the United States every year. In the last five years, over 25 percent of US drivers were involved in an accident. Being part of an auto accident can be a very difficult time. To avoid added stress in your life during an already stressful time, follow these tips to help insure that you receive the best auto repair value available.
Choose a Shop With Good Reviews
When choosing a shop, your insurance company may offer a preferred or in-network shop. It is not always the best idea to go with this option, as some insurance companies and shops may be working together, and they may not be working in your favor. Dealerships are generally reliable, but it is still best to do your research. Ask your friends and family, and research reviews online for shops in your area. You also want to insure that the mechanic that will be working on your car is Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified. ASE certified mechanics have passed a written exam and have at least two years’ experience in auto repair services.
Insure the Shop has Experience in Your Car Make
Even if a shop has a great reputation and perfect reviews, they may not have any experience in your make of car. It is always best to find a mechanic that is familiar working with your make of car. This is another positive that comes with choosing a dealership, but it is very likely an independent shop around you has the expertise needed as well. Doing your research and asking questions at the shop will help save you time and money by avoiding ineffective repairs.
Choose A Loaner Car
Many repair shops and dealerships offer free loaner cars while your car is being repaired, which is a great thing to take advantage of if you don’t have rental coverage included with your insurance. If you do have rental coverage you may want to discuss using the free loaner car service instead of a rental service.
Check Your Warranty
Make sure to get a lifetime warranty for your repairs. Start by calling your agent, as most insurance plans provide this. You want to insure this warranty is transferable, and to obtain a permanent copy for your records. This will be a great assistance if you should ever have problems with your repairs, or if you decide to sell the car.
Post Repair Inspection
Be sure to inspect your car after the repair to make sure it is running as good as it did before the accident. Inspect the car in the daytime, and confirm that the paint is uniform in texture and finish over the entire car. Next, inspect the gaps between fenders, doors, trunk and rear hatch with a stack of business cards or your hands to insure that they are uniform.
Getting into an auto accident is always a stressful time. Unfortunately, car accidents are fairly common, and over a quarter of us are affected by an accident in a five year period. If you are involved in a car accident and need repairs, be sure to ask plenty of questions, do extensive research, and refer to these tips. Staying informed will help guarantee that your car is fixed properly and in a timely manner.