Nothing can ruin your day quite like getting into an accident with your BMW or MINI. No matter who was at fault, dealing with the aftermath is always stressful. Not only might you have to deal with physical issues, but you’ll also need to find the right people to get your vehicle back to looking and driving like it used to.
Finding a trustworthy and knowledgeable auto body shop in Los Angeles or the surrounding area can feel like a major challenge. You may wonder whether you really have to use the body shop your insurance company recommends. And if not, how do you find the best body shop in the area? Here are a few tips to help you choose with confidence.
1. Understand Your Rights
One of the most common questions people ask after a car accident is whether they need to use the repair shop their insurance company recommends. The answer is no! While you certainly can take their advice, it’s your right to choose any repair shop you want.
Insurance companies often make this sound like the more convenient option, but there are a few reasons not to take this route. Sometimes, these shops are chosen because they’re willing to work in a way that’s best for the insurance company. This may result in parts being repaired when they should actually be replaced.
Since technicians at these shops often have a set amount of time to repair each vehicle, they may lean toward fast, cheap solutions – which is never a good idea when you’re dealing with a high-end vehicle. There’s also a good chance the technicians at the shop your insurance company recommends aren’t specifically certified to work on BMWs and MINIs. This can often lead to improper repair work and could result in further damage to your vehicle.
These are all reasons why it’s a better idea to take the time to find a BMW/MINI repair shop you can trust.
2. Do Your Research
There are plenty of auto body repair shops in the Los Angeles area – so how do you choose the right one? Begin by doing your research! Asking friends and family, particularly those who own BMWs or MINIs, is a great place to start. Once you’ve created a short list of potential options, spend some time reading through their online reviews. This is the best way to get an idea of the type of experience you’re likely to have.
3. Ask the Right Questions
Think you’ve found the right auto body shop for your BMW or MINI? It’s time to start asking questions. This will help you make sure your vehicle will be repaired properly and minimize the chances you’ll have problems in the future. Before turning over your keys, ask the body shop you’re considering these important questions.
Do You Have Experience Working on My Type of Vehicle?
It’s always important to choose a mechanic that’s familiar with your vehicle type. However, due to the complexity, it’s even more important when you’re repairing a BMW or MINI Cooper. Ideally, you’ll want a certified technician who has dealership training and access to all of the latest tools and equipment.
How Long Have You Been in Business?
Everybody has to start somewhere, but when it comes to repairing your vehicle, you don’t want to deal with someone who is new to the business. Instead, look for a company that has years of experience and a long-standing reputation in your area.
Do You Use OEM Parts?
Some body shops keep costs down by using cheap aftermarket parts. Don’t make this mistake! When repairing your BMW or MINI, it’s critical to make sure your body shop only uses original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts or equivalent. This will ensure your vehicle continues performing as it should.
Do You Offer a Warranty?
A good body shop will stand behind its work. Look for a shop that’s willing to offer a solid warranty on both parts and labor. If you don’t get the answer you’re looking for, save yourself from future headaches by simply moving on.
4. Get Multiple Estimates
After asking the questions above, you’ll likely have narrowed your choices down to just a few local body shops. Next, you’ll want to ask for a couple of estimates. This will allow you to compare prices and ensure you’re choosing a shop that’s in line with your budget.
However, it’s also important not to make your decision solely on price. When comparing estimates, look at the repairs each shop is recommending and the parts they’re using. If they don’t match, ask for more information so you can make sure you’re making an apples-to-apples comparison.
Contact The Haus Today!
At The Haus, our certified & trained Independent BMW and MINI Cooper mechanics have over 25 years of experience. As an independent repair shop, we’re able to offer some of the best prices in town and we only use OEM or equivalent parts.
If you’ve had an accident with your BMW or MINI, we’ll help get you back on the road in no time. Contact us today to request your free estimate.