If you’re new to vehicle maintenance or have dinged your car for the very first time, there’s a good chance you’re on the lookout for a panel beater.
However, the task of finding someone trustworthy to repair your car is a little complicated, and as you might know, Australia does sadly have a tonne of rather shady and unreliable panel beaters. They might not be able to correctly take care of dents and damage, or they may rip you off entirely.
That in mind, there are still plenty of panel beaters out there that have your best interests in mind and can do an incredible job at repairing even the worst damage on your car, so be on the lookout for these!
In this article we’ll take a look at how to find a great panel beater and what to look for to make the process a little easier.
Always Check Their Reputation
One of the first things you’re going to want to do when it comes to finding a great panel beater is asking around about how their other clients got on.
If someone was ripped off, had a bad experience or didn’t get the result they were looking for, then you’re better off looking the other way. However, when great experiences, good value for money are concerned and excellent after-service care are a common occurrence — then you know where to go!
To get some of this information, it’s good to first ask family and friends for their recommendations. If you’re not able to do this, or no one in your family has engaged a panel beater, you can then move online.
Take a look at socials like Facebook, Instagram and even Google Maps reviews for some more information on your panel beaters. These are generally quite reliable, though be on the lookout for rather standout negative reviews as these may have come from rival businesses.
In all, grab some information from family and friends, read your reviews and look for businesses with around 4.5 stars or more. You can find a 4.9 star rated panel beater in Perth here, for example, thanks to Google Maps.
Assess their Service Terms and Conditions
An often overlooked thing to think about are the terms and conditions that come with your panel beater’s services.
In most cases, you will find that a panel beater doesn’t offer any sort of guarantee and this is a major issue. Look away from these businesses and turn towards the ones who have lifetime guarantees and you’re on to a winner.
A tidbit to keep in mind here is that the businesses with often lacklustre results for their customers don’t often come with any guarantees or service warranties, and so be mindful of working with these businesses.
Analyse Their Customer Service
Typically, a telltale sign that will let you know whether a business is reliable and trustworthy is how you’re treated from your initial call or office visit.
When you call, be aware of who is answering the phone, what information they can offer and whether they’re friendly and helpful — or the complete opposite. Keep this same idea in mind when you are visiting in person too, and assess how you’re treated and whether the team seem like they can help you or not.
We suggest making a simple mental note here and determining if you’re reading body language that places you first, or if you’re being overlooked, spoken down to or even ignored altogether.
These are some key signs as to whether the panel beaters are going to output the same level of professionalism when doing your panel beating or not.
Check for Specialisations when Relevant
When it comes to panel beating for vehicles that are rather old, rare or of a particular make and model — do your research.
You don’t want to hand off a vintage model to a business that could destroy it.
That in mind, either ask or check on the company’s website for some information on whether they’re able to help you out with your vehicle and its specific problems, or if it’s better to look elsewhere.
Assess the Workplace
Our final tip here is to take a look at the workplace you are going to be leaving your car with.
You will be able to tell right away whether the brand is trustworthy or not and whether to consider another business if it’s looking a little rough around the edges, unsafe or downright dirty and not safe.
Some of the best tips we have for you when it comes to the workplace are determining how clean it is, whether it operates efficiently and if they are making use of modern equipment for the repairs of vehicles.
If you’ve concluded that the workplace is rather nice and features some pretty good panel beating and repair equipment, then you’re in the all-clear when it comes to choosing the panel beater.