Quality Auto Body Repair Costs-An Explanation

It goes without saying that quality does cost more. This does not mean that a quality repair cannot vary in price. So, what price is the right choice? Higher? Lower? Midrange? It’s confusing for most consumers and to make it even more confusing, none of these are the right answer. Price does not make for a good repair choice. There are many factors that can come into play when pricing out your repair costs. There are options that should be presented and explained to you as the vehicle owner whether you are paying for the repairs yourself, a third party is paying for your damages or your insurance company is paying.

Parts. If you are paying for you own repairs you may want to consider parts replacement options of either recycled (a used part or LKQ – like Kind & Quality) or a high quality Certified Aftermarket replacement part in place of brand new factory Original Equipment Manufacturer parts (OEM). If available, these options can turn into large savings for you & many times are a good choice in many applications. Talk with your repair shop rep about these options & about where & how they can be applied to your repair cost. Keep in mind that not all areas of repair will be an option for anything less than new OEM parts due to safety & appearance. Used of aftermarket parts should never be considered for parts replacement for air bags, seat belts, crash sensors, or other many other safety related items. All these parts have storage & handling procedures that must be followed from the time the part is made until it is installed.

If considering aftermarket parts make sure the part offered is a CAPA Certified part (Certified Automotive Parts Association). CAPA is a non-profit organization established in 1987 to develop and oversee a test program guaranteeing the suitability and quality of automotive parts.

There are lesser priced low quality aftermarket parts available although many repair shops will not offer them for sale due to the obvious problems that may result.

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These same principals of repairs for parts also come into consideration when your Insurance company is involved. Some of us have opted to pay additional insurance premiums to allow for new OEM parts when replacement is required. If you do not have this endorsement in your policy than your Insurance provider may use the lesser cost parts to repair your car.

When a third party is paying for the repairs you can opt to choose the OEM parts. This could result in the third party choosing to claim through insurance due to the higher repair cost & possibly resulting in your insurer using the lesser costing parts. Again talk it over carefully with your body shop rep so you understand all your options in advance.
Quality repairs also will result from a body repair shop that educates their staff from the office to the Technicians with the latest information on how to repair your vehicle properly. This will certainly cost money & time for both the shop & the employees. Both have a commitment to their trade & want to be the best in the industry. Additional education is available constantly & is required often. Not many consumers would want a non licensed Technician with no continuing education program in place working on their car. A shop without this commitment to knowledge may allow for a lesser repair cost now, but what will the end result be? Will your car be in an unsafe condition or with related ongoing problems for you the owner or as lease return with problems & more cost to you yet to come?

When considering your repair cost it is always best to ask for a clear explanation of your estimate by your body shop rep so you can make the best choice for yourself with the options made available by the shop. If they have recommendations ask them why. Make sure there are sensible & logical reasons that you fully understand. A lesser cost can be just as good of a job if the right choices are made & quality or safety is not comprised.