Sometimes, when you move into a new area, everything you own also has to be new. Not just the house, but the furniture as well. You’ll buy a whole new wardrobe for your closet and drawers full of tools for your kitchen. Maybe you’ll also buy some knick-knacks, decorations, and books just to give your new place that little bit of charm. That’s, of course, if you have money after you buy your new car.
To put it bluntly, you can find all of the best relevant businesses and professionals to work with as a car owner before or after you get into an accident or experience a breakdown. It’s probably best not to take care of this after catastrophes occur. You might find yourself choosing the worst services in the midst of your panic and pain. Choosing who you want to work with before you’re desperate to work with them is how you can make sure you’ll get the best quality work. Without further ado, here are five services that you need to find before you purchase a new car.
You are probably aware that you need to remain alert when you’re looking for an auto body shop. You’ve likely heard a lot of stories about car mechanic scams all over the news, social media, or wherever else you get your gossip. Cars are complex machines and most people don’t have a lot of working knowledge about what they’re made of and what makes them go.
Scammers will take advantage of this ignorance and cheat their clients in various ways. They may charge more than the work is worth. They may also invent problems out of thin air. When you’re shopping around for the perfect auto body shop, you probably want to avoid places that will pull these kinds of tricks. Here are some ways that you can separate the good ones from the bad ones as you’re looking around.
Look Up Recommendations
Customers who have gotten bumper repair services, auto transmission rebuild service, and other forms of service from a certain auto body shop will know best about what the business is like. There are many different ways that you can get the opinions of previous customers. If you recently joined a local club or group, you can ask about who they have used to repair their car in the past. Many areas also have Facebook groups that you can join and ask for recommendations. There are also various online sites that will host reviews of certain businesses. These include places like Google Maps or Yelp.
Consider Their Professionalism
If you decide to visit an auto body shop, there are many things you can look for to know that the place is legitimate. The first thing you can check is how clean and orderly the business appears. A place that is only looking to scam customers will likely not care how professional their business appears. You should also consider how the mechanics act around their potential customers. If they treat them with respect, then you’re likely in a good place.
Find Their Licenses and Certifications
A great auto body shop will likely also have a few different licenses and certificates displayed proudly where customers can see them. Look for certifications from places such as the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) or the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Some places are also certified to repair certain vehicles. If you have a Honda car, for instance, you should check for a shop that is Honda ProFirst Certified. Check the internet for what kind of brand or car-specific certifications a business can have. Then check to see if the auto body shop you’re inspecting has them.
Ask Certain Questions
If you get the right answers to certain questions, then you’ll know that you’ve found an honest business. Ask one of the mechanics if they offer written estimates and/or will give you a print-out of all the work that they do on your car. A business that is trying to hide something from its customers will not be willing to do that. A legitimate business won’t mind providing you with this information. Another thing that a legitimate car repair service will have is insurance. If they have faith in their services, they will be willing to provide their customers with reimbursement in the case that something goes wrong.
When you can’t choose between two businesses, ask them for their prices on different services. Then, you can compare the prices. This will help you decide which body shop to go with, as you can choose which one gives you the best price. Be sure to ask specifically about services that you believe that you will need to get done in the future. For example, if you know that you will need auto tinting done in the future, ask about the price at many different places. Then you can compare each auto tinting company with the other.
2. Find an Auto Towing Service
Much of what was just said about finding a car mechanic service can also be applied to a tow truck service. You can look for recommendations from the same sources. The professionalism in their attitudes and cleanliness should be at a good level. Comparing the prices of their services with the prices of others is also an option. However, there are some details that you need to check which are specific to auto towing services. These are written below.
Check Their Area of Service
All of your research is useless if an auto towing company is unable to reach you at the moment when you need it the most. Most of them do not operate within a very wide area of service. At the very least, you may be charged exorbitant fees if you need them to travel farther than 10 miles from their place of business. 100 miles is probably your best estimate of a limit. Consider where you’re going to be driving on a regular basis. If you’re not going to remain within 100 miles of a certain tow truck service, you might want to have two or more on your speed dial.
Ask How They Charge
Most people won’t expect a tow truck service to be as sneaky as an auto body shop. However, there are still some underhanded tactics that some of these businesses can use. You can find a lot of these tricks within the specific ways that tow truck companies charge you. Many companies might only advertise their hook-up fees but fail to inform you that they also charge you a certain fee per mile they travel or for the weight of your car.
Certain times of day or dates might also have special fees that you won’t see until it is too late. It may be more expensive, for example, to call the company at night than during the day. Holidays are also a time when the prices are higher. Be sure to ask the company to give you all the information about charges such as these. If they can’t, then you shouldn’t be working with them.
Find Out What Trucks They Have
An auto towing company often has limits on what kind of vehicles they can tow. If you have a heavier vehicle such as an RV, the amount of tow truck services that can safely haul your vehicle may be limited. Plenty of businesses have multiple options for truck types they can use, but some don’t. Be sure to specifically ask the service about the different kinds of vehicles that they can safely tow.
While you’re at it, you might also want to ask about what kind of trucks they have. Some types are safer and can tow better than others. A business might believe that their wheel lift tow truck can handle an RV. However, you should be the one to decide if you want to trust that particular vehicle to handle your vehicle. Ask them about their truck types, look up their qualities on the internet, and make your decision from there.
3. Find an Auto Accident Attorney
Unless you move to a different country, it’s likely that you’re not going to change your insurance. However, you’ll probably want to change exactly who will be working directly with your insurers to argue about the legitimacy of your claim. With modern-day internet innovations, it is possible for you to communicate with your old car accident attorney. It may, however, be more difficult for your lawyer to receive the information that they need to help you in your case.
For example, it may take longer to receive printed versions of your medical records and such by mail than it would take for them to drive to a hospital to obtain them. As you probably want a case solved as soon as possible, you’re probably going to need to change your preferred car accident attorney.
The same advice with recommendations, price comparison, and state of professionalism applies here as it did with the other services. However, there is some specific information that you should look for when it comes to finding the right auto accident attorney. You will find a few of the details that you should search for written below.
See if They’ve Worked With Your Insurance Company
Whether you have Geico, Progressive, or insurance for specific car brands, like Kawasaki vehicles insurance (yes, this exists), it may be beneficial for you to choose an attorney that has worked with your particular insurance company before. That way, they will have a working knowledge of what kinds of claims the company accepts and doesn’t accept and what kind of ‘tricks’ they might try to pull.
When you go in for a consultation with each lawyer you’re thinking of working with (meetings like this are usually free), see if they can provide you with a list of insurance companies with which they have directly negotiated. Asking for this, of course, won’t prove how effective they are at their job. However, it can help you decide between one attorney or the other if you are struggling to choose.
See What Claims They Have Filed
You probably won’t be able to get a lot of information about previous clients. However, you can likely get information about the kinds of claims they have helped prove. A claim for the money a client needs to pay for spinal surgery, for instance, is different than a claim for garage door repair service money.
This might seem an odd thing to ask, as you can’t know beforehand what kind of accident you’ll get into. However, you may want to have a working list of attorneys and a list of successful claims that they have made. Then, when you need to make a claim, you can choose a lawyer that has more experience with that particular claim.
This list is just the start of the many things that you can check when you’re seeking out a new service. Be sure to brainstorm some other ideas for things that you can check. Also, you should consider using some of these tips, such as looking for recommendations and checking for professionalism, when you look for other services. For now, good luck with finding the best businesses to work with, and enjoy your new car when you get it!