Thinking about upgrading your classic car with the Christmas money you have in your pocket? If so, make sure you put in the legwork up front to research any potential mechanics or body shops you may want to use. The last thing you want is to get taken advantage of by a mechanic or body shop that is just out to get your money. We want to help you out in this process by offering a few tips for selecting the right place to do your classic car repairs and customization projects:
Visit the Shops
It may seem like a long process to visit every shop on your list, but an in person visit can quickly give you the idea of whether or not you want to have work done on your car at that location.
- Talk to the mechanics and get a feel for their experience
- Ask about certifications and specialty work, especially when it comes to your specific make and model of car.
- Ask for references so you can call previous customers of the shop and get their reviews.
Shop Around Online
Although the possibilities for what you may find are endless, checking out online reviews, reading about the variety of shops and mechanics in your area, and even checking average costs compared to other areas can greatly benefit you.
- Get on sites like Yelp, Cars.com, and Angie’s List to find reviews from both satisfied and dissatisfied customers of any shop or mechanic you may be interested in. Find out what others have to say. Be skeptical of online reviews and look for real problems or issues rather than just disgruntled customers.
- Search for custom shops outside your area. If you can find a shop that specializes in a job you need done, but it’s a bit further away, it may still be worth the trip.
- Check out sites like repairpal and automd for information on the average cost of general repairs, as well as custom jobs. You can also check out online resources like Alldata and Mitchell 1 for information about the average time most repairs take, in order to protect yourself from a mechanic who overbills for hours and charges you an arm and a leg for basic repair work.
Don’t be afraid of the cost
- If you are getting repairs done by an ASE certified technician, it’s going to cost a bit more than one who is not certified. But you wouldn’t want an unlicensed doctor operating on your insides, would you? Same principles apply.
- When it comes to paying for parts, investing in the quality, brand-specific parts will always benefit you over scraping for a deal and buying an off-brand. If the classic was built with certain parts inside it, it was meant to operate with those parts. That doesn’t mean you can’t adjust or modify, but don’t skimp when parts are concerned. It pays to invest in the quality of parts you put into your classic.
Do It Yourself
- If you have the know-how and the skills to do a job yourself, it can definitely be cost-effective to implement the repairs or customizations on your own, but don’t get cocky and take on more than you can handle!
- Estimate the amount of time it will take you to do the repair and how much “cost” you will lose by using up your own time, vs. the amount it would cost you to have a professional finish the job in what will likely be much less time. If it is worth it to you to do the job yourself, make sure you have all the right tools, resources, and a back-up plan if your efforts don’t succeed or go as planned.
When you’re in the midst of a repair, restoration, or upgrade job, don’t forget to call Classic Auto Insurance and get a quote on our stated value policies to cover your in-process car. You may not be driving it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth protecting! Give us a call at 888-901-1338 to make sure your classic car insurance policy reflects your needs.