Car accidents are stressful enough without having to worry about finding an auto collision repair shop you trust. But if you have been involved in an accident, you need just that—a good auto body repair shop that will make your truck, mini-van or car look like new again and restore it to pre-accident condition.
There are many car collision shops to choose from, including auto body shops in Marin County that serve the major cities of San Rafael, Mill Valley, Novato, San Anselmo and Larkspur, as well as all the smaller towns. But for most people, choosing an auto collision repair shop is a mystery. It’s obvious when the dents are gone and paint is new, but how do you find a good shop? One you can trust to straighten the frame, install a new windshield and apply new auto paint—and repair everything in between?
Information is the key. It will give you the confidence you need to make an informed decision.
Why Trust Diamond Certified Car Body Shops Rated Highest In Quality?
Only the best auto body shops in Marin County have earned the Diamond Certified award by scoring Highest in Quality in the most rigorous and accurate ratings process anywhere. So you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews, since all research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed. Most companies can’t pass this test.
Thousands of local auto collision center customers have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only 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.
Know Your Rights When Selecting a Local Auto Body Shop
Whether the car accident was your fault or not, you have the right to choose the auto body repair shop that repairs 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 Marin County.
While this seems like a convenient alternative to researching and choosing a shop on your own, this is one area where information is key. Why? Insurance companies often enforce strict limits on the repairs done at DRP shops that cause them to cut corners, including in the quality of the replacement parts and the time the shop spends on the repairs. If you’re not careful, you can end up getting an inferior repair job.
Remember, it’s very important to choose a qualified automotive body repair shop for collision repairs. This avoids conflict and can preserve the value of your for your car, truck or mini-van. Incorrect body damage repairs are often not reversible, devaluing your vehicle and compromising your safety. If you hire the wrong auto body repair center and another shop can repair the damage they’ve done, you’ll probably have to pay for additional body repairs out-of-pocket since car insurance companies rarely pay for the same repairs twice.
Further Research on Local Auto Collision Centers
You’re probably in a hurry to have your collision damage repaired at one of the auto body shops in Marin County that serve major cities like San Rafael, Larkspur, San Anselmo, Mill Valley, and Novato—and all the smaller towns in the North Bay.
However, it’s in your best interest to slow down and research a few local auto body shops to find the one that will best serve your needs and repair your vehicle right the first time.
While it’s usually best to choose a Diamond Certified company because of their Highest in Quality rating, it 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 them out on the California Bureau of Auto Repair website. You'll find a list of auto body shops that are licensed and in good standing with the state. While not containing any customer satisfaction research, you will be able to see if complaints have been filed with the state or the auto body shop’s license has been revoked.
Certified auto collision repair technicians tend to have more training and up-to-date knowledge of the newest car body repair methods. There are even green auto body shops located throughout Marin. These shops have earned certifications and competed courses on environmentally responsible collision repair and auto painting services. If such credentials are important to you, ask the auto body shops for a list of their qualifications and industry recognition.
Many auto body shops will offer to handle insurance paperwork for you. This can be a valuable timesaver, so ask the auto body shops you’re interviewing if they have experience working with insurance companies.
Auto Body Parts and Auto Body Insurance Requirements
Another factor to consider when researching 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 usually entitled to choose the parts that are used. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts are manufactured to fix your car exactly and may last longer than aftermarket parts. Refurbished and salvaged parts often come with no warranties since their safety and lifespan cannot be guaranteed.
If you did not cause the accident, immediately tell the auto body shops that you want OEM parts installed. If the accident was your fault, ask the vehicle collision centers about your specific case. There may be wording in your insurance agreement mandating use of aftermarket parts, refurbished (repaired) auto parts or salvage parts. However, it may be worth paying the difference between aftermarket parts and OEM parts to get better quality auto body parts installed.
If you live in the smaller Marin County cities of Belvedere, Black Point, Nicasio, Point Reyes Station or Olema, your insurance company may want 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 San Rafael area can also serve the smaller cities of San Quentin, Lagunitas, Kentfield, Ignacio and Dillon Beach.
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