Your body shop should provide free estimates and work with all major insurance companies. It is also important to consider loaner car availability if your vehicle is going to be in for a while.
Body shops offer guarantees on the work they do. Make sure there is a guarantee on the body repairs done to your vehicle.
Ask if there is a warranty or guarantee on the paintwork done on your vehicle.
Make sure your body shop has state-of-the-art frame straightening equipment and a downdraft paint booth. Downdraft paint booths provide a much better finish.
Make sure your body shop has ASE Certified technicians.
Ask if the body shop uses environmentally friendly paints.
Not a bad idea to have a parts department on-site so the two departments can work together.
Do not accept delivery without an itemized bill that includes codes designating what parts were used and what was actually done.
Get a written copy of their warranty, if applicable.
Always do a “walk-around” of the vehicle when the repairs are completed to make sure they were performed properly.
Stand back and make sure the paint matches. Make sure the panels are straight and smooth. Was all the trim removed prior to painting? Are there any dirt particles or swirl marks in the painted area? Is the texture even?
If there was major framework done, take the vehicle for a test drive before paying the bill.