When you had a major automobile accident and your vehicle is not totaled, then it's time to move on to getting the automobile repaired at a car body repair shop. If you have never gone through this experience before, it can be a little intimidating. The following article offers a few key tips regarding the collision repair process.


Your insurance company will provide a list of collision repair shops that they recommend. A crucial point to keep in mind when you get this list is that you are not legally obligated to choose a repair shop on the insurer's list. You may choose a shop from the list or choose your own shop in the vast majority of cases.

No matter what shop you select, whether it's one recommended by the insurer or not, never agree to have any work done without investigating the shop thoroughly. Ask friends and neighbors if they have ever used a shop you are considering and check the reviews on the internet by looking at sites like Yelp. Always go to the shop and take a look around before making a final decision. Ask how long the shop has been in business, and check to see if the facilities are clean and neat. Ask if the service technicians are certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), a prominent trade organization.

OEM Parts

Repairs shops use two types of parts when they are fixing your vehicles: original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, or aftermarket parts. OEM parts, as the name implies, come from the manufacturer, while aftermarket parts do not. Edmunds.com, a leading automobile website, recommends that you use OEM parts when you have a car repaired after a collision. An important point regarding OEM parts is that your insurer might want to use aftermarket parts because they are less expensive. The insurance company might even charge a fee when you insist that OEM parts be used.


Naturally, you should get estimates from several repair shops before making your final choice, but don't choose a shop simply because they give you a low estimate. Obviously, you want to get a good price and don't want to be overcharged, but if one shop gives you an estimate that is much lower than any of the others, it may indicate that the work will be done as quickly and cheaply as possible and that the repair will not hold up over time. Choose a shop that will give you high-quality work.