5 Things to look out for in a good panelbeater.
Without car insurance, a trip to the panelbeater can leave you with a pit in your stomach. You probably haven’t had a ton of accidents (well, we hope not!) and so you’re probably not well-versed with the costs involved, or which panelbeater to trust, or how long anything should take. And that’s kind of a good thing, until you actually need a panelbeater.
Obviously (or maybe not so obviously) the best-case scenario is 1 in which you have car insurance from a reputable insurer that only uses trusted suppliers and repairers to help get their clients back on the road ASAP. But what if you don’t have cover? Or what if the damage quoted by your insurer is almost the same amount as your excess so you choose not to claim but now have to find your own panelbeater to deal with the repairs?
You’d need to know a thing or 2 and these tips will help you find an honest, reliable, and cost-effective panelbeater.
#1 A rock solid reputation
You’re looking for a panelbeater that’s been active in the industry for several years, has a spotless reputation and a few certifications, and has a clean online presence that gives you info about their services upfront, or even a social profile where you can read customer reviews.
A panelbeater with a good rep will want to protect it, so a good rep is a good sign.
#2 Appearances matter a little
You wouldn’t be paranoid if you did a drive-by to see if the workshop has actual equipment (that isn’t from the dark ages), is reasonably tidy, and gives you the feeling that you’re dealing with professionals. That it’s not someone’s backyard, with a few skadonks parked on the lawn, and metal scraps lying around.
It isn’t even legal for a panelbeater to operate out of a residential area, so just don’t.
#3 Special cars need special skills
If you’ve got a classic, vintage, or in any way special, car then you need to make sure that your panelbeater can handle your baby’s special requirements. This usually includes having connections in the industry for specialised parts, special equipment, and hands-on expertise. To be honest, it wouldn’t be rude to ask to see some of the repairer’s previous work.
#4 It’s in the details (of the quote)
It’s no good getting a quote for the overall cost. What you want before any work is done is a breakdown of the cost, showing you in great detail what’s going to happen to your car. A good and reputable panelbeater should list the cost of the parts, labour, painting, and any other repairs that your baby needs.
You might even be able to suss out from the quotation how long the work will take to be completed. Actually, a good sign is a panelbeater who’s willing to talk openly and honestly with you about costs, timelines, quality, and any other concerns.
#5 Got any guarantees?
They say that there are no guarantees in this life. But that’s not the case when it comes to panelbeaters. What you’re on the lookout for is a panelbeater who’ll provide a guarantee of the parts they’ve sorted out for you, a warranty of those parts, and a guarantee on the workmanship.
This tells you that the business has your interests at heart and wants to protect their own reputation.
#6 Get insurance that only uses the best
It can be challenging to find a panelbeater that you can trust, but with these tips you’re sure to be much better off. Of course, if you have car insurance from an insurer with a reliable reputation for putting their clients’ wellbeing at the front and centre of all that they do, then everything becomes that much easier.
King Price, for example, makes no secret of the fact that they treat all their clients like royalty. The royal insurer also prides itself on using royally-approved service providers and offering sensible car insurance that decreases every month. Which is what you want when it comes to protecting your 4-wheeled baby.