The Dealer Debate for Car Repairs
At any given moment, millions of cars are on the road. Unfortunately, with so many vehicles on the road, it’s not much of a surprise that there’s a car accident about every minute in the U.S. Cars are convenient, and they’re getting safer and smarter each year. But accidents do happen, and, like the people driving them, cars aren’t immune to damage.
If you get into an accident and you’re fortunate enough to come away with only minor injuries or none at all, then the first thing on your mind after your own health will most likely be the fate of your vehicle. Is it so damaged that the cost of repairs would outweigh the cost of purchasing a new car? Or is the damage minor enough for the car to be fixed and refurbished in a reasonable amount of time? Does the car simply need to be taken to an automotive paint shop for a fresh coat?
If your car isn’t totaled after an accident, the next question is where to take the vehicle for repair. Fortunately, there are plenty of dealerships and auto body shops all over the U.S. Since car maintenance is so common, these places tend to do good business no matter where they are. After all, people need their cars and they need them to work. And if you purchased or leased your car from a dealership, this dealership will also have mechanics on hand to repair your vehicle.
With no shortage of dealerships, body shops, automotive paint shops, and more, it can be difficult to decide which of these places to take your car after an accident. The information below might help you get a better understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of both dealerships and auto repair shops.
Dealing with Dealerships
If you obtained your vehicle from a car dealership it’s often convenient and sometimes cost effective to return to said dealership for maintenance, tune-ups, and repairs. Most dealerships offer coupons, discounts, promotions, and other incentives to get you and your car back into their garage. While the baseline price of going to your dealership might be higher than that of an independent body shop, these incentives can offset the cost in meaningful ways. Additionally, most of these dealerships are required to carry the best and newest parts for your vehicle. Therefore, you can rest assured that the repairs done to your car will be the best for your car, keeping everything up to date.
One downside to reaching out to your dealer is that their business doesn’t rely solely on repairing your vehicle. In other words, dealers can charge more, add hidden fees, and potentially perform a lower quality job since it won’t affect the whole of their business. Their main source of income is the selling and buying of cars. Repairing is merely a small part of what they do. So if the technicians at the dealership don’t do the best job, the dealership doesn’t have to worry too much about losing business.
What About Auto Body Shops?
There are many types of body shops out there. Some specialize in specific areas of the car, like automotive paint shops, auto glass centers, and windshield replacement shops. Other shops of well-rounded, with mechanics who can handle and repair just about all parts of a vehicle.
Many of these shops are independently owned and run, meaning they probably have fewer clients than a dealership, and their main source of business is with said clients and the maintenance and repairs they perform. As a result of this accountability, the reputation of these shops is important, meaning you might be able to get your car fixed for cheaper and in a shorter amount of time. However, since some of these shops are smaller, they might not have as much capital or outreach to obtain the newest and best parts for your vehicle. If this is important to you, then you might need to consider another shop or a dealership that can provide these things.
Ultimately, it’s important to assess the damage of your vehicle before choosing. If the car simply needs a new coat of paint, for instance, taking it to an automotive paint shop might be all that’s necessary. Taking it elsewhere might run you into unnecessary additional costs for repairs you might not need.