First thing first, you have the right to chose the facility that will repair your car, that’s the law. Your insurance company cannot force you to use a collision repair shop of their choosing.
don’t wait to be in an accident to start looking
Word of mouth:
Ask friends, family, colleagues to recommend a shop they know, have used in the past, then start your homework. Check their what other usedrs said about them. How?
Google them, look at their reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp (although you need to take yelp with a grain of salt, don’t just check Yelp recommended reviews, go to the bottom of the page and check the reviews Yelp does not recommend. Yelp has a history to hide reviews), check Nextdoor, your local neighborhood social platform, ask your neighbors
Look at how they respond to negative reviews, is that how you want to be treated?
Check their website, their social media business pages.. What should you look for?
Are they certified?
When it comes to professional certifications, two stand out, I-Car Gold and ASE. When it comes to collision repair, I-Car is the gold standard
What is I-Car Gold Class?
The Gold Class® recognition is the highest role-relevant training achievement recognized by the collision repair industry. It is estimated that only 20% of repair shops currently meet the rigorous Gold Class standard. Stroyer brothers Autobody and Painting is I-Car Gold Class certified
Are they certified by manufacturers?
Two things to look for: certification agencies and manufacturers certifications. What’s the difference, up until recently auto manufacturers mainly relied on certification agencies to inspect collision/autobody repair shops, in recent years, manufacturers started to bring certification and training in house. Manufacturers contract with agencies, you will find a number of them around the country
What do certification agencies do?
Only 1 in 10 shops will meet or exceed the requirements for Certification. In order to become and remain Certified, shops must meet the requirements as established by the Auto Manufacturers and pass an annual on-site inspection-audit. These requirements identify Certified shops that have the proper tools, equipment, training, and facilities to safely repair the next generation of vehicles, ensuring the vehicle fit, finish, durability, value, and safety using advanced materials and technology.
Stroyer Brothers is certifies by Assured Performance
Assured Performance is a non-profit consumer advocacy organization created specifically to assist consumers in identifying Certified collision repair providers that meet OEM requirements to properly and safely repair the next generation of vehicles using advanced materials and technology.
Check their shop:
Ask if the shop if they work on your vehicle make and model
Ask how long the shop has been in business.
Is their facility neat and well-organized facility with modern equipment.
Professionally run repair shops will have a courteous, helpful staff willing to answer your questions.
You can see the vehicles being repaired by the shop. Are you impressed by the type of vehicles the company is repairing and the way the vehicles are being handled?
Look for signs that the staff is technically competent, trade school diplomas, certificates of advanced course work training from I-CAR, ASE and car manufacturers
Ask for a tour of the facility. Any honest, transparent repair shop will be happy to give you a tour, show you their equipment and answer your questions
Ask if you can stop by to check on the progress of the repair, will they call you to keep you updated?
Policies, guarantees, and methods of payment should be posted or explained to your satisfaction.
Look for a book of references and recommendations
Ask if they will work with your insurance company to insure a smooth and prompt repair