Each year, millions of car accidents take place on US roads. Depending on the severity of the damage, most cars are able to be repaired and driven again. In the US, there were 12 million vehicles involved in collisions in 2018. In Utah alone, there were 64,695 car crashes in 2019. That’s a lot of cars in need of repair.
Immediately following the wreck, there are some key things to do after a car accident. But after that checklist, you may not know what comes next to get your car repaired.
Knowing where to start with the process can be overwhelming. Here is your guide to understand the steps it takes to get your car repaired after an accident.
After an accident, an insurance adjuster will look at the car and evaluate the damages. Based on their evaluation, the adjuster will estimate the cost of repairs to determine if the car is totaled or if it’s fixable. If they declare the car repairable, you will need to take the steps towards repair.
Choose an Auto Repair Shop
In most states, you are able to choose the specific collision repair shop where you’ll have your car fixed. However if you lease your car, one of the requirements from your lender may be that you have to choose from their list.
If you’re at this step and trying to figure out how to pick a car repair shop, there are some things to think about when making your decision:
- Are they certified? The I-CAR Gold Class certification is the highest achievement recognized by the collision repair industry. If you can find technicians that meet this standard, they will be a great option for your repair job.
- Do they have online reviews? The best way to see if the shop is trustworthy is to look at what past customers have said. Check out the shop’s reputation on Google reviews, Better Business Bureau, and auto-specific sites such as Carwise.
Take or Tow Your Car to a Shop
If your car is drivable, you can take it to the collision shop yourself, otherwise, it will need to be towed. Sometimes owners have their car towed to their home after an accident if they don’t have a shop to take it to yet. If you are in this situation, you’ll need to arrange for a tow to the shop.
Some car insurance companies offer a recovery service and will take it to the auto body shop for you. If you are a member of the AAA or other breakdown recovery service, they may also offer this.
Ask Questions During the Estimate
Once your car is at the shop, the technicians will perform their own estimate of the repair cost. Many shops offer this estimate for free. This is a good time to ask specific questions about the repair. A few things you may want to ask include the following:
- Can they show you the damages and explain the repairs? You may only be able to see superficial damages, but there might be additional parts underneath that need to be replaced. Ask them to show you what is damaged and what will need to be replaced and repaired.
- Can they give you a cost and time estimate? During this estimate, the shop will evaluate the damages and come up with a cost estimate. They will coordinate with your insurance company for the cost of repairs that insurance will cover. Ask the technicians about the amount of time the repair will take and how soon they could get you in.
- Do they offer a warranty or guarantee? Find out if the auto repair shop offers a warranty on their parts and repairs and guarantees their services.
Schedule a Repair Appointment
If you are satisfied with your experience during the estimate and have the information you need to move forward, set up an appointment. If your car is driveable, you may have a little more flexibility in deciding when is best for your schedule.
Make sure to plan to have alternate transportation for the amount of time the repair will take. Some insurance companies will cover the cost of a rental car for a certain amount of time.
Pick Up Your Car
Once the repairs are complete, the collision shop will communicate with you to pick up your car. While there, confirm the repairs and ask any questions to understand the work that was done. If you have any questions remaining about your repair after you leave, you can always contact the repair shop and ask them.
If you have been in a car accident and are looking for collision repair in SLC, get in touch with Valley Collision. We hire I-CAR Gold Class certified employees and offer free repair estimates.