A car crash is bad enough, but it’s even more frustrating to deal with if you need to buy a whole new car because of damage to yours. Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent auto body shops available, and damage that looks severe is often fixable if you take your car to the right place. To get your car repaired and avoid needing to purchase a new one, it’s important to take the right steps after a car crash. Here are four tips that will have your car back in tip-top shape.
Find a Reputable Auto Body Shop
The most important factor in getting your car repaired promptly and properly is choosing the right auto body shop to fix the damage. Your insurance carrier should have a network of repair shops that you can use, although you can also choose to receive payment for the damages and go to an out-of-network shop. Read reviews of any shops you’re considering and call them to ask for price quotes on the job. You obviously want to get a good deal, but it’s just as crucial that the job is done right.
Get Your Car Fixed Right Away
If your car is still drivable, it’s easy to put off getting it fixed, because it’s certainly not convenient to have your car in the shop. This is a bad idea, though, because there may be structural damage beyond what you can see that makes it dangerous to drive your car. Work with a collision center to get it fixed correctly and quickly.
You also risk making any damage worse if you keep driving, and if you’re unfortunate enough to get in another accident, your car may not handle the impact as well because of its prior damage. Schedule repairs as soon as possible after your accident, even if it means your car will be out of commission for a few days. See if you have rental car coverage on your insurance policy, as that can help you get around while you wait for your car to be fixed.
Be Careful about Cutting Costs
It’s natural to want to get the best deal on your repairs, whether your insurance or the other driver’s insurance is covering them or you need to pay them out of pocket. Just make sure you aren’t cutting any corners at the expense of your car and its structural integrity. Aftermarket parts can work just as well as manufacturer parts in some areas, but in others, they can cause issues. Tell your mechanic to give you their honest opinion about any cost-cutting measures, as they are typically more than happy to let you know if something is a good idea or not.
Make Sure You Receive Compensation for Damages
If the accident wasn’t your fault, then it’s the other driver’s responsibility to pay for repairs to your car. It can be difficult to get any compensation if the driver was uninsured, but if they have insurance, make sure that insurance company pays for your repairs and any other expenses you had.
They’re also responsible for paying your car rental costs in this scenario. However, insurance companies want to minimize costs as much as they can, which means you need to stay on them to get the money you deserve. If you feel like they’re playing hardball with you, consider hiring a lawyer to put more pressure on them.
It’s never fun seeing your car looking like a shell of its former self, but if you take it to the right shop, it will be as good as new. Follow the tips above and your car will be looking perfect again before you know it.