An auto collision that leaves significant damage to your vehicle is every car owner's worst nightmare, but it happens to the best of us, sometimes through no fault of our own. What's important now is getting the damage repaired so that you can get the vehicle back out on the road and drive it safely. The urgency of the repair doesn't have to mean that you need to drain your bank account or emergency fund, though. Contact the right auto collision repair service, and you might be able to save some money while still getting professional-grade service. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
If You Are Paying Out of Pocket, Say So
Most auto collision professionals are willing to work with customers who need to pay out of pocket. They might not advertise lower prices for those without insurance, but lower rates may indeed be available if you ask. If you do have insurance, the repair center will usually charge full price because they know the insurance company will pay it. But if you are paying 100 percent out of pocket for some reason, you may get a lower quote because the repair shop will want to entice you to choose them instead of the repair shop across town. Simply ask for a quote with a part-by-part breakdown and tell them it's out of pocket, and you might be pleasantly surprised with the amount you'll have to pay.
Ask About a Payment Plan
This won't apply to every auto shop, but some auto collision shops that do work for those paying out of pocket are willing to offer a payment plan if they already have an established relationship with the customer. This is more likely to happen at a local mom-and-pop-style shop and not a big corporation, so look around and see what options are available to you.
Ask If There Are Less Expensive Parts Available
Typically, when creating a quote, an auto shop will use official parts from your car's manufacturer when putting the vehicle back together. You may not want to ask for used or aftermarket parts if the car is relatively new as this might void your warranty. But if your car is out of warranty and was reaching the end of its lifespan anyway, your auto collision shop may be able to source used parts from a junkyard that will get the car running again at a fraction of the cost of ordering brand-new parts.
To learn more, contact an auto collision repair service.