Tips on How to Choose the Correct Auto Body Repair Shop

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By Mike Horne, Mike’s Auto Collison

Get recommendations
Check with friends and neighbors and family. Almost everyone has had a car repaired for body work.

Your insurance company might also be a good place to start as they conduct background checks on local shops.

Who you choose is your choice
Although the insurance company may have it’s own “Direct Repair Program“ or preferred partners that can expedite the process, you can take your vehicle to the center of your choice.

Ask questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You are entitled to as much information as you want before agreeing to use a body shop.

Find a manufacturer-certified shop
This may sound simple, but you need to know your car’s make, model and year when contacting a repair center. You want a shop that is certified to work on that specific vehicle, with the correct training, equipment and parts. For example, not all shops can fix a Porsche, because Porsche will only sell OEM parts to a Porsche-Certified shop.

Always get an estimate in writing
Any estimate should be in writing and free of charge. Ask the estimator to explain if you have questions. The shop should also examine the car indoors or in the shade away from direct sunlight to avoid missing any areas that might need repair.

Look for technician certifications
These certifications are costly and time-consuming to receive. Some industry certifications to look for include I-Car and ASE. Both are impressive and show the shop’s investment in quality. Certificates will typically be displayed in a prominent place.

Remember: You are an amateur and need a professional
The good news is that most collision centers now offer one-stop shopping and should be able to fully repair your car from start to finish, including mechanical and body repair.

Remember to use us as a resource
At Mike’s Auto Collison, even if you choose to use another shop, we are always available to answer all of your questions and to make recommendations. We don’t mind earning your business. At Mike’s, “whatever it takes” is not just our motto, it’s our promise to you. Call us at (850) 265-6065. Located at 2433 Jenks Ave., Panama City, FL 32405. Visit our website at

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