It is highly recommended that when you are ready to take your car to an auto body shop, you do some comparison shopping. Don’t let an insurance company pick your repair shop. It’s your right to choose! That being said, when you do compare shops out there, you may notice different estimates given for the same repair work. What are the reasons behind collision repair shop estimates being different among one another?
There are many factors involved in an auto body shop’s estimate, but here are the top ones. A shop’s materials are a big factor. They can vary from shop to shop. From tools and paint, to plastics and computer software used for diagnostics. Everything adds up in an estimate.
Replacement parts are another factor. There are two types of replacement parts, OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts and Non-OEM parts, or recycled parts. What gets used by a shop will vary from place to place, just like the estimate. Cost of OEM parts will also likely be higher than recycled.
Did you know that shop location is a factor in expense as well? Different sides of town have different overhead costs. Speaking in terms of El Paso, TX, if you’re taking your car to the Westside of town, rent prices or taxes or general overhead for your repair shop are likely to be higher, as is the cost of hiring employees who can afford to live nearby. Taking your car to the Eastside or Lower Valley, or a less expensive area, means the shop will have lower overhead costs.
Sometimes you have to pay a little more for quality. More experienced shops with loyal customers and an established reputation can afford to charge more because they have too many clients, while newer, less experienced or less established repair shops may need to take any business they can get at any price.
Finally, there are a lot of debates going on in the automotive industry at the moment about how to correctly estimate and perform repairs. Most of this is due to the rapid evolution of automotive technology, but the standard hasn’t yet been set. Some shops may perform a more thorough repair that requires them to dismantle your vehicle, some may have fancy equipment and use sensors, some may base estimates on photographs, and some may rely on insurance company regulations more than others. Some shops may tend to overestimate while others tend to underestimate. It’s always a good idea to ask questions so that you understand exactly how your estimate was done and how it could change as repairs start.
If you have any question regarding estimates or anything else about collision repair, please give us a call! Pete Solis Collision Center is El Paso’s Auto Body Shop! With over 47 years of experience behind us, we are the top choice for bodywork, paint, and more. We are the home to ICAR certified professional body shop technicians, as well as quality Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes. Pete Solis Collision Center is located at 1434 Lomaland Dr. in El Paso, Texas. Give us a call today at (915) 599-8666. We are open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm.