Jack Jackson, owner of Jack's Body Work & World Class Collision, CA, knows better than most people how to choose a reliable shop. Jack started working on cars when he was 12 years old and has been in the body shop business for 44 years. Here is a his tips for choosing the right shop to work on your car — particularly when you're the one paying the bills..
1) Get Several Estimates
Taking your car to several auto body shops for repair quotes is the best way to avoid overcharges, Mallette notes. "I'll tell people to go get some estimates and bring 'em back to me. I'll match estimates if I can."
And while it's important to protect against being overcharged, you shouldn't simply take the lowest quote. "You might get some kind of midnight guy who will say he can do it really cheap," he says. "Stay away from those guys, because there is something they're not doing. You could have major problems down the road."
2) Follow Your Intuition
Finally, it's important to trust your intuition about the shop you're considering. If a shop isn't busy, maybe that's because customers are avoiding it because of shoddy repairs. If the place is really dirty, cluttered or disorganized, this might reflect the kind of work you could expect the shop to do with your car. Is the shop owner or manager a grouch who seems to resent answering your questions? You'll be happier with a shop where the owner communicates well and is straightforward with customers.
"Trust your gut," Jack says. "If your gut tells you the guy's shady I wouldn't even go there."