The Real Difference Between Repair Estimates
Getting an estimate for your car repair can be one of the most daunting experiences if you don’t know where to go, who to trust, etc. Several repair shops are giving you different estimates and it turns into a battle of finding the best shop that also is recommended by your Insurance provider versus where you feel you’re not going to be ripped off. But then, a different shop comes in out of left field and gives you a price that is significantly higher than the others. Obviously you aren’t going there because they just want your money, right? Not necessarily. Keep reading to find out the real difference between a $600 and a $6,000 repair estimate.
So, what exactly is a repair estimate? In the auto repair industry, an estimate is just a starting point for the work that has to be done. This is different than the actual “repair plan,” which is an itemized list of things that the technicians will need to do in order to repair your car. The repair plan can’t even been drawn up until your car is taken apart and they get a real look inside your car. This can be compared to a doctor needing to perform surgery. He couldn’t give you an accurate diagnosis unless he read your X-Rays, MRI, etc. Symptoms are only part of it, just like the exterior damage is only part of your car repair.
That brings us back to the difference between your $600 and $6000 repair estimate. Chances are, the $600 estimate was made with a guy walking around your car with a clipboard, checking different boxes and coming up with that price with just looking at it. That estimate is more times than not accurate for what technicians need to do on the outside. But they cannot guess what else needs to be done until they take apart your car. That’s usually when they call you and say, “well, we looked inside your car and you’re going to need this replaced. Your rotator belt also looks a bit worn, so we should probably replaced that too.” Sound familiar?
This is why there is something known as a supplement.
If a supplement is needed for a repair, the auto body shop will send the request to the insurance company. The repair must be placed on holding during this time until the supplement is approved by the insurance provider. This can take anywhere from a couple of days to a week. Sometimes an insurance adjuster may need to have their own inspection of the car before they can give the shop the green light to begin the repair. Not to mention, your car may require specific OEM parts that have to be ordered.
Overall, the real difference between repair estimates comes down to one that was made after taking apart your car and one that didn’t. The price will always change, as things always come up in the repair process. The biggest thing you want is to make sure you take your car to a repair shop that knows what they are doing and provide you with a thorough, accurate estimate.
We at Telesis Collision Center know that repair estimates can be confusing and even scary numbers. But we’ll be sure to work with you step-by-step and your insurance provider to ensure your auto repair process is a simple, smooth transaction. Not to mention, you’ll get your car back looking and working good as new!
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