Body Shop Estimates—Why They Vary

When you’re in a collision, there are certain steps to take once you and your passengers (if you have any) are safe.  If your car is still drivable, you’ll first call your insurance company to report the damage.  After this, getting body shop estimates are the next step.

We get asked from time to time why body shop estimates vary—and sometimes widely.  There are a number of factors that can contribute to this.  Below are some of them:

Type of parts used.

One body shop may use after-market or generic car parts to repair a car. These parts are cheaper than original manufacturer equipment parts (OEM) parts and therefore can result in a lower estimate.  The problem with this is that since these parts are generic, they are not made specifically for your vehicle. OEM parts are made by the manufacturer and fit your vehicle’s model perfectly. There is also the issue of safety.  Many believe that generic parts aren’t as safe as OEM parts and some studies have verified this concern.  So, although the estimate may be cheaper, you may not get the repair done for your car.

auto stiegler team photo
Portrait of an estimator writing on a clipboard for a body shop estimate.

Other materials used in the repair

The parts used are only one consideration in body repair.  Other materials including nuts and bolts, screws and even the paint used in restoring your car can vary widely.  Every body shop has it’s preferred vendors who sell different qualities of these materials at different prices.  And even the area of the country where you live can impact the price of these materials.

Repair technician salaries or costs.

Body shops pay their technicians differently based on experience, certifications, etc.  This can affect an estimate’s overall cost also.

The quality of the estimate itself.

When shopping for body shop estimates, experienced estimators will know exactly what it takes to repair a vehicle.  Different shops restore a vehicle to its pre-accident condition different ways. One shop may have to practically take apart the vehicle to repair it while others can do it with little dismantling.

Keep Your Car in Check

It’s always preferable to take your car into a shop to let them look at it as opposed to sending photos from your phone.  There can be hidden damage, such as a bent frame and other problems that can’t be detected by the photos.

Call around for body shop estimates, compare prices and ask questions so you can get an estimate you’re happy with.   And always take your car to a body shop you can trust.

Orlando Auto Body uses OEM parts whenever possible and only uses the highest quality parts, paints and materials to restore your car to its pre-accident condition.  If you’re in a collision call us today at (480) 844-4858.