Auto Body Repair Cheat Sheet for Women
Here’s a little cheat sheet for you ladies so next time you have to go to an auto body repair facility you know what to expect and what questions you should be asking.
I am proud to say that I’ve been working in the auto body industry since 2007. When I first began I was shocked at how “unfriendly” most shops were for their female customers. They’d have a few Better Housekeeping mags out on the table and provided toilet seat covers in the claustrophobic bathroom with the rattling fan and thought that was catering to us ladies. Oy vei.
For the most part – women are not taught from a young age about the mechanics of vehicles or how any of the process of mechanical or auto body repairs are supposed to work. We know how to apply mascara flawlessly with one kid screaming and another trying to climb our leg while the cat barfs, do 2 loads of laundry simultaneously while using Siri to answer an email, microwave the heck out of some leftovers, write up a kick a$$ business development strategy for a new struggling client (Ok – that would be me) but auto repair???? No.
Check out my auto body repair cheat sheet for women that will help you glide through your auto body shop experience!
1 – Where to Go?
By law, you can take your vehicle to be repaired at ANY auto body shop of your choosing! You do not need to use the shop your dealership, insurance company’s claim center or agent suggests. You do NOT need to get 3 estimates. That’s all leftover lies from the 90s and early 2000s when “steering” was a BIG thing. (That’s an article for another day.) Anyway ladies…Go where YOU want to go and do your homework before choosing!
2 – How to Pick?
I have 4 suggestions for you…
- I recommend reaching out to friends, family and colleagues who have had their vehicles repaired recently and find out where they had an excellent repair experience. You can even reach out to your insurance company to see what shop they directly refer work to, but working with the insurance company’s shops has its own pros and cons which we will save for another day…and another blog post.
- Before taking your 4 wheeled baby (cause why not have another thing to take care of!) to the shop that’s been recommended…DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Check out online review sites like Yelp, Google or AutoBody-Review.com to get real life testimonials.
- If you aren’t happy with the online reviews of the recommended shops then I recommend you reach out to the dealership where you bought or leased your vehicle and see who they work with. Oftentimes the shops that work with dealerships provide a superior level of work because they want to maintain the positive relationship with the dealership for continued referrals (which is a win for you!) Then, again – check their reviews!
- The last point I have to come back into this article and point out…save yourself and do not go to your friend’s brother’s uncle’s shop blindly. JUST DON’T.
3 – To Alert Your Insurance or Pay Out of Pocket?
If the damage on your vehicle is small then I recommend you take your vehicle into the shop you’ve done your homework on and let them take a look at the damage. (Obviously, if you are in the Antelope Valley area you will want to bring it to Telesis Collision Center. Duh.) They are used to dealing with insurance companies and know the ins and outs of the claims process. They can help guide you and talk through your options financially and the pros and cons of filing an insurance claim. This is part of the reason it is SO important to go to a shop that has not only qualified personnel but friendly and caring staff that can help you.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this 3 Part “Cheat Sheet” every woman MUST have!