A car accident is an unpleasant and worrying incident. Every driver wants to have the damaged vehicle repaired to a high standard as soon as possible so that it can be back on the road. Unfortunately, sometimes drivers are very disappointed with the work done. What should I look out for so that I don't need repairs again soon after the repair?
Insurance companies are businesses, so their main interest is to maximise their profits. This means that an insurer will always try to offer garages with lower labour rates in order to be able to offer lower premiums to its customers and thus remain competitive in the market.
Insurers and repairers have close links and cooperate with each other. They agree on repair rates, the nature of the repairs (e.g. to replace damaged parts or to repair them) and the purchase price of the parts to be replaced.
Meanwhile, repairers compete with each other. Konkurencinę kovą laimi galintys pasiūlyti patrauklesnę remonto kainą. However, we all know that we cannot expect high quality for a very low price.
Ideally, all repair services should be provided in one place
When choosing a repair company, the first thing to do is to check whether it has the right equipment and will be able to carry out all the repairs in one place. For example, some garages do not have a paint booth or do not carry out car body geometry restoration work. In this case, if your car needs to be painted or the bodywork deformed by an accident needs to be repaired, the garage may turn to private craftsmen or other repair companies that do this work.
The more different technicians that repair your car, the more problems you may have if the repairs are poorly done. Each person may then try to pass the buck on to someone else in the repair process and it can be difficult to find the culprit responsible for the fault.
You should also always make sure that the repair company you choose has qualified craftsmen with the right skills before choosing one.
Parts from third countries are cheaper, but are they safe?
Lithuanians are frugal people. The same applies to car repairs. If you can save money by buying a cheap part made in a third country, you will buy it instead of paying more for a new original spare part.
The truth is that every car part has a specific function. For example, a bumper, which may not seem important to many, can save your life or at least reduce your injuries in a collision. Non-certified third-party parts are often far inferior to the original spare parts supplied by the manufacturers in terms of strength, flexibility and resistance. This can sometimes result in a car repaired as cheaply as possible after an accident being less safe and in a worse condition than before the accident.
Paradoxically, it is perfectly legal in Lithuania to sell non-certified third-party parts, and the responsibility for the safety of these parts lies with the consumer, i.e. the car owner. Lithuanian technical inspection centres do not check whether car components are original or third-party parts when carrying out technical inspections and granting the right to drive. Admittedly, it is sometimes impossible to do so when carrying out a visual inspection of a car.
Therefore, when repairing your car, you should always think about what parts will be used for the repair and assess whether it is worth the risk to your safety and the safety of other road users.
Capture the condition of your car before repairs
Car repair companies must offer a six-month warranty on work carried out and a one-year warranty on new parts replaced.
However, the driver should always be aware of the condition of the car he or she is handing in and the condition of the car he or she is taking back after the repair. Sometimes, there are various disputes and claims where the customer unjustifiably blames the garage after not noticing some damage unrelated to the accident before the repair, or, conversely, the car is damaged during the repair or while waiting for the repair, and the garage is unwilling to accept the blame.
To avoid such situations, some repairers take photographs of the vehicle from all sides at the time of acceptance of the repair and note visible defects on the acceptance certificate. The customer is advised to take part in this process responsibly or to carry it out himself to avoid possible disputes and losses.