Begin by checking credentials. If a shop claims to be part of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) or have Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification, don't take the information at face value. Ask to see the paperwork, or verify it even further by checking with the proper association yourself.
Being part of an association doesn't ensure a good company, however. Pay attention to reviews from previous customers, too. See who your friends and family members recommend, and always check Google and other review sites to see what the shop’s overall rating is. An occasional bad review is likely for even the best of businesses, but if many customers have complaints, or if there are many complaints in a recent timeframe, you should continue your search.
Once you narrow your choices down to two or three auto body shops, ask specific questions regarding the work you want done, and get specific estimates in writing. If one seems to be much higher than the others, tell them you've gotten more affordable quotes and ask them to justify their estimate. On the other hand, though, remember that you get what you pay for. If a quote seems too good to be true, you could be getting yourself into a situation that results in shoddy work.
Estimates, certifications and reviews are important, but you should also keep some other factors in mind. Not all shops work on all vehicle models and makes, so be sure the shop you choose can actually work on your car. Consider how clean the establishment looks and how friendly and professional the staff seems during your visit. A good auto body shop’s staff will be patient, answer questions thoroughly and not make you feel rushed.
Finally, begin your search before you actually need an auto body professional. Trying to find a shop in a rush might result in making a poor choice that costs you more money in the long run. To learn more about auto body repair in Raleigh, click the link.