Nobody expects to have a car accident. They're certainly stressful enough without having to worry about finding an auto collision repair shop that you can trust. But if you’ve been involved in an accident, you need just that—a good auto body repair shop that will make your car, truck or mini-van look like new again and restore it to pre-accident condition.
There are many car collision shops in Alameda County from which to choose, including those that serve the major cities of Oakland, Hayward, Fremont, Berkeley and San Leandro, as well as all the smaller Tri-Valley towns.
Choosing an auto collision repair shop is a mystery for most people. It’s obvious when the paint is new and the dents are gone, but how do you find a body shop that will do it right? One you can trust to straighten the frame, install a new windshield and apply new auto paint—and everything in between?
Information is the key. The more knowledge you have, the more confident you will be in making an informed decision. But where should you begin, in the sea of auto body repair shops in the North Bay?
Why Trust Diamond Certified Auto Body Shops in Alameda County Rated Highest In Quality?
Only the best auto body shops have earned the Diamond Certified award by scoring Highest in Quality in the most accurate and rigorous ratings process anywhere. So you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews, since all research is performed by live telephone interviews that authenticate only real customers are surveyed. Most companies can’t pass the test. Thousands of local auto collision center customers have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only the auto body shops that scored Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction, a 90+ on a 100 scale, as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program cuts out mediocre and poorly-performing companies. If you want quality, you’ll have confidence in choosing Diamond Certified companies. And you’re backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you’ll feel secure in your decision.
Know Your Rights When Selecting a Local Auto Body Shop
Whether your car accident was your fault or not, you have the right to choose which auto body repair shop will repair your vehicle after an auto crash. Sure, your insurance company may recommend repair shops. But the final decision is always yours. Most insurance companies have agreements, known as direct repair programs (DRP), with collision repair facilities in Alameda County.
While this might seem like a convenient alternative to researching and choosing a shop on your own, this is one area of auto collision repairs where information is key. Why? Insurance companies often enforce strict limits on repairs done at DRP shops. This can cause them to cut corners, including in the quality of the replacement parts and the time the shop spends on your repairs. If you’re not careful, you can end up getting an inferior repair job even though you’ve followed your insurance company’s advice.
Remember, it’s vital you choose a qualified automotive body repair shop for collision repairs for your mini-van, car or truck. This avoids conflict and can preserve the resale value of your vehicle. Incorrect body damage repairs are often not reversible, devaluing your vehicle and compromising your safety. Keep in mind that car insurance companies rarely pay for the same repairs twice. So even if another shop can repair the damage done by another auto body repair center, you’ll probably have to pay for the additional body repairs out-of-pocket.
Further Research on Auto Collision Centers in Alameda County
After a car crash, you’re probably in a hurry to have your collision damage repaired at one of the auto body shops that serve major cities like Oakland, San Leandro, Berkeley, Hayward, and Fremont—and all the smaller towns in the Tri-Valley.
However, it’s in your best interest to take your time and research a few local auto body shops to find the one that will best serve your needs and repair your car or truck correctly the first time.
While it’s usually best to choose a Diamond Certified company because of their Highest in Quality rating, that may not always be possible. If you’re unable to choose a Diamond Certified company, you can improve your chances of finding a decent auto body shop by checking out local shops on the California Bureau of Auto Repair website. You'll find a list of car body shops that are licensed and in good standing with the state. And while this website doesn’t contain any customer satisfaction research, you will be able to see any complaints that have been filed with the state or if the auto body shop’s license has been revoked.
Body shops with certified vehicle collision repair technicians on staff tend to have more training and up-to-date knowledge of the newest car body repair methods. There are even green auto body shops in Alameda County. These shops have completed courses and earned certifications in environmentally responsible collision repair and auto painting services. If credentials like these are important to you, ask the auto body shops for a list of industry recognition and qualifications they’ve earned.
Many local auto body shops will offer to handle insurance paperwork for you if they’re repairing your vehicle. This can be a priceless timesaver, so ask the auto body shops you’re considering if they have experience working with insurance companies.
Alameda County Auto Body Parts and Auto Body Insurance Requirements
Another factor to consider when researching good car paint and body repair shops is the quality of replacement parts each shop uses. Just as it’s your right to choose which body repair shop to hire for collision repairs, you’re frequently entitled to choose the replacement parts that are used. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts are manufactured to fix your car exactly and may last longer than aftermarket auto body parts. Salvaged or refurbished parts often come with no warranties since their safety and expected wear cannot be guaranteed.
If you did not cause the accident that totaled your car, immediately tell the auto body shops that you want OEM parts installed. If the accident was your fault, ask about your specific case. There may be wording in your insurance agreement that mandates the use of aftermarket parts, refurbished (repaired) auto parts and salvage auto body parts. However, it may be worth paying the slight difference between aftermarket parts and OEM parts to get better quality auto body parts installed.
If you live in the Tri-Valley or in the smaller cities of Albany, Ashland, Castro Valley, Emeryville or Komandorski Village, your insurance company may ask you to bring your wrecked car, truck or minivan into a local auto body collision shop for an auto body repair estimate. Luckily, because of their ability to tow in wrecked or totaled vehicles, car body shops in larger cities may be able to provide auto body repairs rather than leaving you stranded. For example, auto body repair shops in the Oakland area can also serve the smaller cities of Mount Eden, Piedmont, Russell City, San Lorenzo and Sunol.
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