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How do I know which bodyshop quote to go ahead with??

So, you have been to a few body shops and gathered quotes to repair your car. Why is the price range so spread out? How can the same repair cost £100 at one body shop and £1000 at another, or even more!? Hopefully this blog will help clear up a few questions for you and lend a helping hand in your decision making.

When it comes to bodywork does the term 'you get what you pay for' apply?

As with most services you pay for this is the an extent.

When quote collecting it isn't always a good idea to jump in with the cheapest quote as there is usually a reason why it is so cheap. A cost will need to be cut somewhere in the process to allow a quote to be far cheaper than all the rest and it will be either:

A) Using poor quality cheap materials,

B) Rushed labour with little (or no) prep,

C) Or simply carrying out a 'bodge' job instead of the repair technique that is needed.

All of these point to an end result that either doesn't look as it should, won't last or both. However this doesn't mean you will definitely get the best repair if you choose to go along with the most expensive quote (and the difference between the cheapest and the most expensive can be a hundreds or even thousands of pounds!!).

So how much should you pay for a repair?

This is a difficult question to answer as it is a bit like phrase I always hate to hear 'how long is a piece of string'. If you get several quotes you will usually see this pattern:

Several cheap quotes, 1 or 2 middle range quotes, several very expensive quotes.

The range can be as wide this example:

A dented rear quarter panel of a car - quotes between £150 - £2800....why so different?

  • The cheap quote - This could be packing the dent full of filler, painting over the top. Or pulling the dent out a bit, filling and not spending time getting the shape 100% then a quick prime and paint with minimal prep.

  • A slightly more expensive quote might be a slightly better repair but then very cheap paint and clear coat.

  • Pay a little more and get a very good repair but again cheap materials. This will most probably result in the car looking really nice when you collect it but a few months later problems start to arise such as peeling paint, flaking clear coat, dull patches etc.

  • Paying more would get a good quality repair, very good materials used, excellent end result.

  • You could pay even more for the exact same job somewhere else.

  • Pay more again and the car might be stripped out and have a whole new quarter panel welded to the car but still have low quality paint and clear coat used.

  • Getting close to the top price would be a new quarter welded in and good products used, excellent end result.

  • The most expensive price would be the same work as 7. but just more expensive.

As you can see these are just a few examples and there can be many other slight variations, but basically you need to be looking to find the quote offering option '4'....The repair you need, good quality materials and an excellent long lasting end result at a reasonable price. On the above list option '7' is also a good repair, but in this example the customer would paying more than they need to as '4' is perfectly adequate. Anything before '4' would have resulted in a repair that either looked bad or wouldn't last.

So how do you know who is offering you that happy medium?

Unless you know the industry this is where is gets tricky. One option is you can talk to us about all your quotes. Our quote wont change if you tell us what you have been quoted elsewhere, our quote is what we will charge you for the work we think is needed. We try to be as honest and open as possible, so if you want to know anything about a repair we are carrying out or proposing to carry out just ask. Unfortunately there are many companies in the automotive industry that are expensive and either carry out work that is not needed, charge for work they don't actually carry out, or simply charge too much for the work they do, so understandably it can be difficult to find companies that you can trust. My goal as the owner of Autodoc is to be that company that you can always trust and talk openly too and the company that will always give you an honest answer. In other words, we try to give you that option '4' quote regardless of what other bodyshops have quoted you.

So, back to the original question:

When it comes to bodywork does the term 'you get what you pay for' apply?

The short answer is the cheapest quote will most probably not give you a good end result, however there is no need to pay the price of the most expensive quote to get the best possible repair.

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