Hopefully, you will be lucky enough to never need body work done on your car. The fact is that, most people will need to use the services of a body shop at some point in their lives. Damaging your car is a difficult experience. Choosing the right auto body shop to fix the damage, will make the experience less painful and result in a quality repair. If your car gets damaged, first determine if it is something that can be fixed by an auto detailing professional. Some scratches and small dents can be fixed without repairing and painting large sections of your car. You want to avoid compromising the car’s factory paint job if at all possible. If the damage to your car will require auto body work, choose the shop with care. Ask friends and family for recommendations of shops that have exceeded their expectations. If you are unable to find a shop through word-of-mouth channels, check online review sites such as Google Places. Consistently good reviews usually indicate that a body shop does quality work. Do not choose an auto body shop solely on your insurance company’s recommendation. In Virginia, you have the right to go to which ever body shop you choose. Once you have chosen a shop, make sure they have clearly indicated what they intend to do, to fix the damage to your car. Your contact at the shop should be knowledgeable and clearly answer any questions you may have. Make sure they provide a written estimate of the work to be performed. Once your car is at a body shop for repair, they will work with you or your insurance company in the event more damage is discovered. Once the body work on your car is concluded, be sure to thoroughly examine the work. Look closely at how the body panels align with each other. The spaces between them should be even and consistent with the other areas on your car. Although the paint on repaired areas will never fully match the factory paint job’s color and texture, it should be reasonably close. Be on the lookout for paint with an “orange peel” texture or dust nibs in the paint itself. These types of issues should not be present and should be corrected by the shop. The car should be delivered back to you clean and free of dust and paint over spray. Make sure you are completely satisfied with the work before you make payment. Remember, having auto body work done on your car should be a pleasant experience that results in a car that looks nearly identical to how it was before the damage occurred. Please consult us if you ever have questions about auto body work or need a recommendation for a quality shop.