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What Causes the Differences in Repair Estimates?

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If you're searching for collision repair in Bensalem, PA, and you're comparing options, you might be frustrated with the differences in different repair shops' estimates. If you've taken your vehicle to get three different estimates from three different repair shops, the numbers you're given can vary so wildly that you are probably asking yourself, "How do these shops come up with these numbers?"

What Causes Rate Differences?

The differences in rates between different repair shops come from a variety of factors that affect repair costs. Every shop has its own specialized process that leads to discrepancies between the numbers you receive from them. The total number that they give you as an estimate can vary greatly depending on some specific factors.

Estimates Aren't The Final Price

First of all, a repair estimate should be considered a blueprint for the repairs needed; it is not an exact number because it only considers what the person inspecting the car can immediately see. In Pennsylvania, under the Motor Vehicle Physical Damage Appraiser Act, the estimator can only estimate the damage they can notice when inspecting the car. When they begin to work on the vehicle, this estimate may change as more damage is discovered.

Prior Inspections Can Play A Role

Additionally, suppose an estimator has done a poor job inspecting the car. In that case, the estimate may appear lower than the eventual cost of repairs. You want to make sure you choose a reputable auto body repair shop in Bensalem, PA, such as Peruzzi Collision Center, so you don't end up with a surprise bill.

Repair Policies Vary

Estimates vary between shops because every shop has different policies regarding its repair process. First of all, the estimator must consider the amount of time the repair will take technicians to complete when making the estimate. For example, high-quality shops require technicians to remove all lamps, mirrors, and door handles before painting a vehicle. This takes more time than simply masking off affected areas but will prevent peeling in the future.

Aftermarket Vs. OEM Parts

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Another critical difference in estimates can come from whether the shop allows the use of used parts in repairs. Original equipment manufacturer parts come directly from the car manufacturer and are often specifically what your car needs based on the current issues with your vehicle. However, when you take your vehicle to an independent repair shop, you're more likely to deal with aftermarket parts.

Aftermarket parts consist of parts that work with your car, but your mechanic hasn't sourced them directly from the manufacturer. As long as the parts fall under the "direct replacement part" category, it won't void your warranty.

The price difference between aftermarket and OEM parts contributes to any discrepancies between estimates. Aftermarket parts will generally cost less than OEM parts; how much depends entirely on a combination of brand and the type of part. Researching different mechanics and repair shops can give you a more detailed view of how much you may look to pay for the repairs.

How To Make The Best Choice

When choosing an auto body repair shop, remember the phrase "you get what you pay for." Some shops may give you a lower estimate but then provide shoddy work or have the estimate increase over time. Asking your estimator questions about the shop's specific procedures and policies can help you choose the most dependable and high-quality repair technicians while limiting risk factors that can affect your vehicle down the line.

If you are interested in receiving an accurate and fair estimate, we encourage you to contact our friendly team at Peruzzi Collision Center today!

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