One of the most common questions we receive – multiple times a day – is how long it will take to fix your car. And while we absolutely understand your interest in getting your car fixed as quickly as possible (which, by the way, is also in our best interest), there’s no one “cookie cutter” answer to the question. Below, we’ll consider just a few factors that might affect the amount of time necessary to perform the correct repair.
The Correct Repair
Since we just mentioned our desire to repair your vehicle correctly, it seems appropriate that we should start our discussion of cycle time (ie. how long it will take to fix your car) here. We believe that the correct repair for your vehicle always includes using Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts. And in many cases, using OEM parts is also the fastest way to get through a repair.
You see, when we use parts from the manufacturer of your vehicle, we are 100% assured that they will fit right the first time, and every time. That is not the case when using third-party or aftermarket parts. In many cases, non-OEM parts do not fit correctly, and have to be returned. Worse yet, some shops (NEVER HERE) instead opt to modify the ill-fitting aftermarket part to “make” it fit – further compromising the replacement part and compromising it’s structural integrity.
The Insurance Company
Whether you are running your repair through your own insurer, or through the responsible party’s insurance – you are likely to experience delays as they go through the process of approving payment for your repairs.
Most insurers don’t put a heavy priority on how long it will take to fix your car. Instead, they only prioritize how inexpensively they can get the shop to repair it. Insurers and body shops go back and forth on the estimate for repairs – and with every round of “this is what it will cost to fix properly” and “we’re not going to pay for that”, days and sometimes weeks of delay can be experienced.
One of the best ways to speed up that process is to purchase a rider or endorsement that states you wish the repairer to use only OEM parts in the course of any repair. These types of riders add just a small amount to your annual premiums, but make a HUGE difference in getting the insurer to pay for the proper repair. And that saves time. A LOT of time!
This rarely used to be a factor in how long it will take to fix your car. But currently, we are living in a post-pandemic time where parts shipments are backlogged, and shortages are being experienced all over the world. This is beyond the control of the body shop, and even the insurance company.
And this, today, is one of the biggest variables in trying to answer the question. Some repairs are being held up by weeks, and (unfortunately) even months just because the shops are waiting on parts. Again, this is a good reason to stick with OEM parts, as the manufacturers are doing everything they can to produce and ship parts to shops all over the country.
Ask Your Body Shop Manager
We encourage you to speak with your body shop manager and ask for expectations when it comes to estimating the timeline of your repair.
As always, patience and understanding go a long way during these unprecedented times. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly!