The Collision Repair Shop Shuffle

If your car has suffered collision damage, you are probably researching the best collision repair shop in your area. If an insurance company referred a repair shop it is still worth doing your homework. Once you have decided on a facility you will probably stop in for an estimate. At this point, most people assume their car will be repaired at this location. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Who Supports the Shuffle?

During your research, you probably noticed there are several types of auto body repair facilities. Most shops fall under the categories of dealerships, multi-shop operators (many of which are corporate owned and have dozens of locations in the valley) and finally independently owned collision repair facilities.

Most dealership body shops are on or near the dealer. However, one large multi-brand dealer has their collision repair facility about 20 miles away from its dealerships. Over time the dealer found their customers refusing to drive down to a less desirable part of town for estimates and auto body repair. Their solution included opening a collision center on dealership property. The sign says, “Collision Center” but really it is only for estimates, drop off and pick up. The damaged vehicle is then shuttled back and forth to the original auto body shop.

Multiple shops or chain auto body repair facilities is another category. Most large insurance companies refer customers to these facilities to help control costs. One of the ways to limit expenses is shuttling your vehicle to their other body shop locations. For example, a customer drops off in north Scottsdale but that location is very busy and the Mesa location is slow. In this situation, the car will be moved for repairs. Speed of repairs results in lower rental car cost for the insurance company.

Lastly, there are independently owned facilities. In this case, what you see is what you get. Browse the website, research the reputation and quality of work. A visit to the location allows the customer the opportunity to meet the staff, notice if the facility is clean and what kind of cars their shop repairs. If you feel comfortable, this is where you will drop off and where your vehicle will be repaired.

Does it Really Matter?

The obvious answer is yes! Most people want to know and see where their vehicle will be repaired. The following points are also worth serious consideration:

  • Will my car be towed to the other collision repair shop? What if additional damage occurs as the vehicle is being loaded and unloaded from the tow truck? Scratched bumpers, scraped exhaust and wheel damage are just some of the common results of loading and unloading a vehicle.
  • Is a porter driving my car, using my gas and putting miles on my car? What if he is involved in a collision?
  • Do the online reviews match the location where my vehicle is actually being repaired?
  • At pick up time, what if something needs adjusting, buffing, etc? Does this mean a return trip if no technicians or the right tools or equipment are not on site?

Who is Repairing your Vehicle’s Damage?

  • OEM certifications vary from location to location and so does technician certification.
  • Master technicians choose to work at auto body repair facilities that invest in the latest and greatest equipment.
  • Skilled technicians utilizing modern equipment results in precise measurements and safe repairs.
  • Master technicians are more likely to make a repair, where a less skilled technician would be forced to replace parts on your vehicle. Quality repair (when safely permitted) allows the vehicle owner to maintain their original OEM factory parts.
  • Today’s vehicles are loaded with technology and safety features. Not all technicians are qualified to make a proper collision repair.

Airpark Collision Center has been serving the valley since 2006 in the same location. View our website to learn about our certifications, equipment and master technicians. Stop in or click for a quick collision repair estimate!

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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