How to Find a Good Collision Repair Shop

Did you know that the average driver is in need of collision repair only once every ten years? The infrequency of trips to an auto body shop can lead to unfortunate situations and unnecessary stress. I realize a common thought after an accident (big or small) is, “how much is this repair going to cost?” As an educated consumer, I understand the attraction of obtaining the best for the least amount of money. However, a few things should be considered before you commit to a collision repair facility.

Consider this, each business regardless of industry is usually known for one of three things:


I’ll use Domino’s Pizza as an example, they started out by guaranteeing a 30 minute pizza delivery. Clearly, they built their business on the premise of speed. Another example, would be Fantastic Sam’s or Supercuts, what category do you suspect they fall into? When it is time for collision repair, fast or cheap may not really be the best end goal. Below we will detail, the pros and cons of collision repair shops that fall into each category. Hopefully, with this additional information you can make the right choice for your vehicle and your financial situation.

Fast: One Wednesday, a woman walked in for an estimate. She said, “I was just sideswiped!” I looked out the window and saw the whole side of her car was completely destroyed. Then she said, “do you think it will be ready by Friday?” This question told me that she really had no idea about the amount of work involved. Unless you work in this industry or are involved in several collisions you may not be able to predict the length of an auto body repair. Consider this:

  • If you are making an insurance claim, repairs begin when approval is obtained-this can take a few days. Speed of approval depends on the insurance company, their staffing levels and whether they have accepted liability for the claim.
  • When a vehicle is repaired the right way (according to industry or OEM standards ) technicians do not skip steps.
  • Paint should not be spotted in-it will peel.
  • A bumper should be removed and painted off the car and then reattached. The purpose is to prevent edges which results in peeling paint. Following proper procedure takes time but results in quality work.
  • The cost should be related to the amount of time and labor (unless the parts are very expensive) So if the repair is $2,000+ chances are there is a lot of labor involved, therefore it won’t be done in a day.
  • If the auto body repair is not done right, it will be a problem at lease or trade-in.
  • Correcting a bad collision repair will require more time and expense.

Cheap: Again, I understand cost is important, especially if you are trying to avoid an insurance claim and hoping to pay out of pocket. Personally, I’d rather pay a reasonable or fair price and avoid a lot of potential problems. Please take this into consideration:

  • What kind of materials are they using on my car and will they hold up or affect the quality of the repair? Quality materials are expensive. Reputable shops with a lifetime labor warranty understand the importance.
  • Does the collision repair facility have updated equipment? If you have a newer car it might have aluminum panels, requiring different tools, equipment, and training.
  • Will the auto body shop run a diagnostic scan on my vehicle? Just because the repair looks ok, doesn’t mean airbags, sensors or other safety features will perform if you are in another accident.
  • Where is the location? Is it convenient, safe? How is your car secured? Hopefully not by a chainlink fence and attack dogs.
  • How will your car be cared for while it is in the auto body shop?
  • Who is repairing your vehicle? Master technicians are paid a very good wage. Untrained technicians who don’t follow industry procedures or have little experience earn a significantly reduced wage.
  • Beware: is the price cheap to get you in the door and then once the car is taken apart it will be more money for the repair? A reputable shop will warn you if they suspect that something might be damaged underneath.
  • Are they saving your deductible? This means they are probably skipping certain parts &/or labor on the repair.
  • You may not notice the bad repair, but at lease end or vehicle trade in, the dealer will point it out.
  • What if there is a problem because they used cheap materials or skipped steps? Will they stand behind their work or even be there next year? Is there a warranty?

Best: Best should not mean expensive, in fact it will probably provide you with value because your vehicle is repaired correctly. This means it is unlikely you will have a future problem with the repair and if you do, the best Scottsdale auto body shop will stand behind the repair with their lifetime labor warranty. Some key items that qualify a collision repair facility as best are as follows:

  • Utilizes high-quality materials. Airpark Collision Center, best Scottsdale auto body shop uses 3M products and PPG water-based paint to achieve excellent color matching.Airpark-Collision-Center-2020 Best-of-Scottsdale-Award
  • Lifetime labor warranty for as long as you own the vehicle.
  • Reputable, track record with reviews on multiple platforms. Read the reviews, what do they say about the work or the service?
  • Invests in annual I-Car technician training making the shop an I-Car Gold Class facility. This is the certification for the collision repair industry.
  • The equipment at Airpark Collision Center is recently updated, allowing us to work with computerized measurements, create factory looking welds and bake on a clean paint finish.

You may have heard the expression, you can’t have it all. Fact is, a proper repair takes time, master technicians, quality materials and the right tools and equipment come at a cost. Over the last 14 years Airpark Collision Center, has earned the reputation for quality work at fair prices. Recently we won the award, Best of Scottsdale 2019. This was a special award because businesses are nominated by customers and then voted on later in the year. Please click here for a photo estimate or visit our facility for a quote!

Tina Small has been part of the Airpark Collision Center team since 2006. Working directly with customers, her goal is to share frequent customer questions, and proper methods of collision repair.

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