As the East Coast prepares to get hammered by yet another snowstorm this winter, auto repair shops are gearing up for the next round of heavy business. With heavy snowfalls hitting both the east and west portions of the nation in December, auto body shops have been keeping extra busy this cold weather season.
For instance, Fox 31 News out of Denver, Colorado reported, “Snow, cold great for Front Range auto repair businesses.” In the Mile High City, local auto repair shops know to steel themselves for “a steady flow of business” as soon as the temperature starts plummeting. One of the main reasons they’re so busy in the winter is that drivers head out with sub-par tires. When snow and ice coat the roadways, poor tire treads tend to cause vehicles to “go spinning out of control and cause accidents.”
This same scene was repeating itself across the country in Greenville, North Carolina, where News 14 Carolina reported, “Auto repair shops busy after wintry weather conditions.” What types of vehicle damages were they witnessing? Fender benders, spin-outs and multi-car pileups on slippery roadways were leading to plenty of dings and dents. Fortunately, however, most of the necessary car repairs resulting from slick road conditions were light ones. Auto repair technicians point out that this means that such damages can usually be quickly and easily fixed.
One auto body repair expert explained, “People have slid into curbs. So they have damage to their wheels and suspension. They are light repairs and pretty quick and easy for us.” But before heading straightaway to a car repair shop, drivers should keep a few things in mind.
Realize that you’re not the auto body shop’s only customer. Yes, the technicians can repair your vehicle quickly and easily, but they may have several clients in front of you. Just as the meteorologists advise practicing patience on the wintery roadways, patience is a virtue in the repair shop as well.
Check in with your insurance company before you take your car in for repairs. Chances are the damage will be covered, but you’ll want to know what your out-of-pocket expenses will be before you’re faced with an unexpected bill. Usually once you meet your deductible (typically $250 or $500), the rest of the repair work is covered in full. Inform your insurance agency of the incident and, and ask them to give you a claim number.
In most states, you are not obligated to get multiple estimates before taking your car in for repair. That means you can select the auto body shop of your choosing. If that’s the case in your state, select a company that has a reputation for being a leader in quality collision repair.
If you’re going to require a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired, look for an auto repair shop that has a rental car service on its premises. Such shops can often offer you very competitive discounts on your short-term alternate transportation needs.