What to Look for in a Car Repair Centre?

Your spending decisions are often driven by your needs and budget considerations —especially given inflation — and increasing prices everywhere. In today’s marketplace, where research is at our fingertips, selecting a good mechanic is an important factor of your car’s care.

The access that shoppers have to research aids like Google reviews, referrals, and testimonials is more open than ever and acts as social proof to confirm our decisions on what to purchase. It may surprise the average shopper to know that when choosing a vehicle repair facility, the online experience they have shouldn’t be any different from any other product or service.

Five things to consider when looking for a repair centre

1. How accessible are they online?

The average customer isn’t going on a road trip to find the right mechanic or auto body repair centre. It all starts online, so the right repair centre is easily accessible with a simple Google search.

That’s simple to understand and seems intuitive, but don’t be surprised by the number of small or medium-sized businesses that aren’t online. When searching for the right repair centre, what a potential customer should be looking for is a website that is easy to navigate and has relevant information about the services provided. You should also try to dig a little deeper and check out the company’s online reviews.

2. What is their reputation like?

Much like every company that has an online store, there are likely Google reviews that you can read to help inform your decision. Auto body shops tend to service between 50-100 vehicles every month, which means there should be plenty reviews online. This is an important part of the customer service process for businesses in the automotive repair sector. The reviews should reflect the kind of experience one would expect following a collision. Staff should be genuine, empathetic, and willing to share each step of the repair process with customers so there is a line of open communication.

3. How transparent are they?

With all its moving pieces, and computer enhancements, the modern vehicle is more complex, so don’t think that auto repair is an easy job. A customer who wants a repair completed by a trained expert should be looking for a facility with certifications in specific makes and models. If you’re driving a BMW or Audi, you’ll want someone who knows the brand, rather than a jack-of-all-trades.

And you’ll also want to acquaint yourself with the repair process. Here is a summary of what is required to complete a safe and proper collision repair:

  • Pre-wash: Every good makeover starts with a shower.
  • Triage: Diagnostics is the next step, so the vehicle is mapped and inspected by a repair coordinator.
  • Assignment: Depending on the vehicle make, model and year, it is assigned to a technician with a specific skillset and training credentials.
  • Disassembly: Sometimes you must deconstruct everything to identify any damage that isn’t visible in the initial triage.
  • Research: The vehicle has specific manufacturer standards required for safe and proper repair called OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) procedures, and the repair coordinator researches them based on the vehicle make, model, and year.
  • Planning: In collaboration with the technician, the repair coordinator establishes what repairs are necessary and orders parts to facilitate the proper repair.
  • Approval: The customer and the insurance company sign off on the work before the repair.
  • Bodywork: The technician completes the repairs to OEM specification.
  • Paint: The body is touched up with paint and protective coatings around the repaired section of the car.
  • Quality Control: The final phase where the work is inspected before giving back the keys.

Remember, this is a general overview of how a repair shops tackle the job of repairing your vehicle and there may be different staff in different roles. The amount of time, training, and attention to detail to properly execute just one of these tasks is often underestimated.

When it’s safe to do so, customers should ask to see what happens on the floor of their repair centre and ask for a walk-through of the facility. It should be bright, and clean, and give the customer a reassuring feeling that their vehicle will be in good hands when they leave it there. This also provides insight into the type of work being done, which can be confirmation that the shop has the skills to get the customer back on the road ASAP.

4. How important is their quality of repair?

The importance of quality repair is essential for any business. The second-most expensive purchase in a customer’s life is their car and if it needs help getting back into its original driving condition, the work done needs to be up to a certain standard.

The right repair centre will have a record of its success through reviews on its website and the approval of insurance companies that work closely with it. Vehicle-specific certifications is a form of proof that the shop is committed to using specialized training, tools, and equipment to guarantee a safe and proper repair.

Plus, they need to be people-friendly, too. Does the repair centre staff seem empathetic? Are they helpful? Will they communicate with the customer through their preferred channels? These are all ways to determine if the repair centre is one that a consumer can trust to do the right repair.

5. Are they trustworthy?

Adding to that theme of trust, shopping for vehicle repair isn’t something to be taken lightly. Selecting a repair centre that will complete your repair the first time is essential.

Those who do a good job take pride in being the trusted advisor to their customers. Before arriving at the repair centre, do the research and know what is needed to do the right work. The photos from the website should match up with the actual facility. The certifications should be on full display. And make sure the repair centre practises what it preaches on its website and holds its employees accountable.

In conclusion, remember to research, research, research! Choosing a reliable repair centre requires thorough research and consideration. Customers should feel empowered that the choice they are making is based on good sources. If all else fails, customers can use these steps to identify and arrive at the right mechanical or auto body repair centre, the first time. For an even safer bet, ask your insurance provider for recommended repair shops and vendors.

CSN is proud to have the most vehicle manufacturer (OEM) certifications of any network in Canada.

All CSN Collision Centres repair vehicles safely and properly. Complete the fields below to find a location that specializes in repairing your vehicle.