Most drivers will be involved in a car accident at some point in their life and at that time will have to deal with collision repairs. It may be tempting to save money and forgo repairs for several reasons, especially if the damage seems minor and insignificant. Choosing to have car repairs after an accident is a much smarter plan than ignoring the damage for several reasons. It’s crucial to understand what could happen if you don’t get your car fixed and how to find the best auto body repair shop to do the job.
Reasons You May Think You Don’t Need Car Repairs After an Accident
You may believe you don’t need to follow through with car repairs after an accident for a variety of reasons. The following excuses might sound like good reasons to avoid taking your car into the shop, but here’s why they aren’t:
Do-It-Yourself (DIY)—Some people feel confident enough to repair their car’s damage themselves. They may have tinkered around with cars in the past or looked up an online tutorial. There is a reason car mechanics go through extensive training and are required to receive certification in order to work on vehicles. DIY car repair can be dangerous to your health and safety as well as the integrity of your car. Instead of tampering with your vehicle to save a few bucks, it’s always best to go to a professional.
It’s not worth the cost—You may think it’s not worth it to pay your deductible in order to have the car repaired and that you should just pocket the insurance money. This seems like a good plan at first until you realize that letting damage go unrepaired can lead to far worse complications down the line that will cost much more than an initial repair. If you cannot pay your deductible, some shops will work out a payment plan to make the cost more manageable.
You need your car—For many people, their car is a crucial part of everyday life. After an accident, you may believe the repairs will take too long and disrupt your daily activities. It’s well worth the wait for repairs for a variety of reasons, and an experienced shop will be able to repair your car in a timely manner. For now, public transportation, a rental vehicle, or carpooling are your best options.
You don’t trust shops—Your car is one of your most important assets, and this can lead people to be very protective of them. Some car owners may think auto body shops are untrustworthy and will try to swindle you for as much money as possible. In reality, many shops are very reputable and take pride in providing good service for reasonable prices. Some shops will even work with your insurance company to take the stress of negotiating with them off your shoulders.
Why You Shouldn’t Avoid Car Repairs After an Accident
Let’s discuss what can happen if you decide not to take your car to a shop:
Voided warranty—The warranty on your car is voided if you’re leasing or financing the vehicle and do not get the necessary repairs. Without a valid warranty, you’ll be unable to take advantage of warranty coverage, and the value of your vehicle will go down.
Required by lease or loan—If you do not own your vehicle, you are required to have it repaired with the insurance money from your provider. If you pocket the check, you could end up in trouble with the owner of the vehicle. They will likely ask for proof of repairs after you receive the insurance money. If you sign the owner’s name in order to cash the check, you’ve committed fraud and will face major consequences.
Worsening the damage—The damage to your vehicle from a minor accident may seem fine at first but driving a damaged vehicle will lead to bigger problems down the line. A simple repair will cost much less if it’s addressed as quickly as possible but allowing it to deteriorate will certainly raise the cost of the repair and become a threat to your safety. Don’t risk a higher bill in the future or worse — another accident caused by a faulty vehicle.
Insurance company skepticism—If you decide to forgo repairs and end up getting into another accident, your insurance company may be suspicious of the damages. They may decide the damage wouldn’t have been as bad had you gotten the repairs after the first accident or that you could be lying about the accident to receive another payout.
Tips for Choosing the Best Auto Body Repair Shop
Now that you understand the importance of car repairs after an accident, take the following steps to guarantee you choose a great auto body repair shop:
Research auto body shops—Begin looking for collision repair shops as soon as possible after an accident. Search online for places near you and take recommendations from friends. Read online reviews and testimonials in order to get an idea of the best shops in your area.
Experience is key—Look for auto body shops that have been in business for several years and employ people with ample experience. A shop with a long track record of success will likely provide you with the best service.
Speak with references—Ask each shop you speak with to provide a few previous clients you may call. Get an idea of what these customers liked about the shop and if they had any issues with their service. Inquire about the technicians’ demeanor and professionalism, the longevity of the repairs, and the timeliness of the process.
Get estimates—Ask for a quote from each shop you visit in order to weigh your options. Don’t just choose based on the price but consider the cost in reference to factors like experience, good reviews, and the atmosphere of the shop.
Have Your Car Repairs After an Accident Done by A Trusted Auto Body Repair Shop
If your car has suffered damage after an accident, Zingani Collision is your best bet. We have over 40 years of experience in auto body repair and our work is backed by a 5-year warranty. Check out our reviews and testimonials and find out why we come so highly recommended by our customers. We’ll provide a free estimate and work directly with your insurance company, so contact us today!