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How can I find a good body shop?

For most people, the purchase of an automobile represents the single largest purchase they will ever make, except when they buy a home.

We invest a lot of money in our vehicles between purchase and the cost of operation and we expect to get a reasonable return on that investment when we sell or trade them in. It is important, therefore, to keep our vehicle in the best mechanical and cosmetic condition possible.

Because most people have their vehicles regularly maintained, keeping a car in good mechanical condition is not difficult. Repair shops are located every where and finding a good one is relatively easy. Finding a reputable body and paint shop, however, is not as easy because most of us seldom need to use one. So when we find we need the services of a body shop, we don't know where to look.

Locating a quality shop staffed by trained professionals needn't be difficult if you follow a few simple steps:

  1. Even though you don't need a body shop now, start looking around at the shops in your area. Pay them a visit and check to see that the shops have modern equipment, trained staffs, and a good reputation.
  2. Look for certification plaques from ASE, I-CAR and other associations that show the staff is trained is specific areas such a frame alignment, body work, and painting.
  3. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if the shop has any unresolved complaints lodged against it.
  4. Ask friends where they got their vehicles repaired and if they were happy with the work.