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Types of Auto Body Repair Shops

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Whether you've got a dented door, scratched hood or bent fender, it's time to call an auto body repair shop and get that car looking like new again. If you're in the market for a reliable collision repair center, then chances are you'll have plenty of options in your area – auto shops are nearly as varied and unique as the number of car models on the road. Learn about the various types of auto body shops, as well as their benefits and disadvantages.

Dealership Repair Shops

Taking your vehicle back to the dealership for body work is always an option. In general, dealership shops hold their mechanics to high standards, suggesting that your repair will be done in a professional manner. Additionally, dealerships are more likely to have the specific car parts on hand for your car's brand. This may reduce turnaround time so you can get back on the road without having to wait for parts to be ordered from a warehouse. While collision repair typically is not covered by warranty, many repairs on newer vehicles may fall within warranty coverage. If such is the case, dealerships may offer repairs free of charge.

Independent Body Shops

Independent body shops are the most common type of collision repair centers. Because each shop is owned independently, the quality of work and experience of mechanics can vary greatly. However, pricing at independent shops is often more affordable than at dealership shops.

To minimize potential for unfair pricing or unethical work practices, it might be beneficial to choose an auto shop that has been certified by either the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (i-CAR) or the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Certification from one of these two organizations suggests a certain level of competency and reliability. For additional insight on a center's track record for customer service, you might also check for previous customer complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau.

Specialty Collision Repair Shops

Some independent auto body repair shops specialize specifically in either collision repair or servicing a specific type of vehicle. For example, a shop may only work with European or classic cars. If you have an exotic, luxury or foreign car, then one of these specialty shops may be the best option for you. This is because they may have superior knowledge working with your specific type of vehicle. They may also have the particular parts necessary for your repair on-hand.

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