Not all Accident Repair Centre’s are the same. Every industry, and every business within it offer varying levels of service and quality to their customers.

After your home, your car is generally the next most expensive asset that you own. It is important then to choose a ‘best in class’ repair facility should you have the misfortune of being involved in a road traffic accident.

But how do you decide your best course of action?

Public perception would lead many people to believe that calling their insurance company for a recommendation is the only option available. Your Insurance Company will certainly direct you to a Repair Centre, and provide a level of assistance, but is this necessarily the best course for you to take?

Remember that your Insurance Company is a commercial business, whose primary objective is to earn profits for its Shareholders. It stands to reason then, that by charging you the highest premium possible and having your repairs carried out as cheaply as possible is in their best interests.

Remember your car is YOUR asset and YOU need to protect its future safety, reliability and value. YOU need to ensure that YOUR car is repaired to its pre-accident condition using genuine manufacturer parts and repair methods, and not with inferior products or processes often used by Insurance Companies to keep costs to a minimum. After all, the safety of you and your family could be at stake.

In order to protect your best interests, you need to enlist the help of professionals.

Independent professionals, with your best interests at the heart of everything that they do. That’s why choosing an independent car repair facility or availing of the services of an independent accident management company to assist you is key to finding the best outcome. Your Accident management company can take the stress out of the situation and help you to find a quality repair facility where your best interests will be paramount. Similarly, if you require roadside recovery, a replacement vehicle, medical assistance or even legal advice, your accident management company can assist you with every aspect of your claim.

Here are some simple tips to remember when choosing a body repair service in Northern Ireland.

Your vehicle, your choice.

If there’s one thing to remember from today’s blog post, it’s this: Your vehicle, Your choice.

You might feel under pressure or be coerced by an insurer to have your body repair work carried out at a location that they recommend. But remember that it is your vehicle, and you can choose to have it repaired wherever you want and by whoever you want.

No matter what tactics an insurer uses, stand your ground.

It’s your car, and you are legally entitled to be the decision-maker for everything affecting it.

If in doubt, contact any Northern Ireland Bodyshop Alliance – NIBA repairer for advice.

Using an insurer’s recommended body service repairer could cost you in the long term.

The modus operandi of an insurance company is simple: they aim to generate a profit by selling their policies for more than they pay out for in claims.

It’s a good idea to remember that every time you deal with them.

Your insurer isn’t the funny meerkat off the TV or the nodding dog; it’s part of a multi-billion-pound industry that primarily focuses on tactics to earn more than it pays out.

When it comes to repairs, your insurer will opt for the least expensive option. Just like your Insurance Company, their Repairers are working to maximise profits. There are numerous ways they can do this. For example, they might use cheaper ‘spurious’ parts in conjunction with the insurance company to reduce the repair cost and increase their profits. However, this option could dramatically decrease the value of your car, not to mention compromise its safety.

Spurious or NON-OEM parts are not manufactured by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Instead, they are copy parts made to replicate the original. These parts may be satisfactory but they are not approved, sold or crash-tested by the original manufacturer.

Choose a body repair service based on trusted recommendations.

In this digital era, we’re lucky that we can carry out due diligence ourselves with a quick Google search.

Read Google and Facebook page reviews and see what customers liked and disliked about the company that repaired their car…

There’s usually a car enthusiast (or two!) in every family, so ask them for advice.

Ask your mechanic too; they’ll have heard the good, bad and ugly over the years and can guide you.

Don’t pick based on convenience; somewhere around the corner from your home isn’t necessarily the best place to carry out your repairs.

Find out essential information like cost, timeframe and details of the work that they intend to carry out.

It may be your insurer footing the repair bill, but it’s still essential to find out the costs involved.

And estimates can vary wildly too.

One repair shop could quote you £500, and another could quote you £3,000 for the same job – so how do you know which is right?

The best thing might be to instruct an independent motor engineer assessor to discuss the repairs with the garage and agree the right way forward, again a reputable accident management company can help you with appointing someone.

What does your gut instinct tell you?

Sometimes, your gut instinct can provide a forceful nudge towards or away from a service.

The more information you find out about a body repair service, the more your gut instinct will guide you. Here are a few questions to consider to help guide you:

  1. Is the place secure?
  2. What are the terms of the warranty that will be given?
  3. Quality of materials – Ask whether they work with used or factory grade parts.
  4. Communication – Do they fully explain all charges?  How often will they keep you up to date?  Do they allow you to check up on repairs by visiting the shop?
  5. Evidence of quality work – Unless you know someone who has personally worked with the body shop you are thinking of using, it can be hard to determine whether they are trustworthy or not. Read reviews or base your decision on word of mouth

 

NIBA is a collective of independent repairers operating in the car and light commercial vehicle market in Northern Ireland. If you need help with vehicle repairs, contact us today.