Find the Best Auto Body Repair in Marin County
Auto body shops in Marin County CA bearing The Prime Buyer's Report TOP 10 symbol are those collision repair services that have exceeded the minium state standard. They are the auto body repair services proven by our independent research to have passed the TOP 10 requirements for honesty, competency, and value, that carry liability insurance as protection for you the customer, and for whom our staff has called previous customers to verify high satisfaction with their auto body repair in Marin County CA, including dent removal, frame straightening, auto painting, and more.
Updated July 30, 2019
Find the Best Auto Body Repair in Marin County
California requires that auto body shops in Marin County CA be licensed by the State Bureau of Automotive Repair, but there is no exam or test of ability, so there is no state standard for competency among auto body services.
But the state license is no guarantee that any particular auto body shop in Marin County CA is even competent, doing business ethically, delivering value, or satisfying customers.
This makes it all the more significant that all services for auto body repair in Marin County CA that bear The Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol have been cleared by our research staff as passing all the requirements for Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten status, such as survey phone calls to previous customers to verify high satisfaction with their auto body services, good complaint record, verified state license, verified liability insurance, sufficient length of time in business, only employees legal to work in the U.S., and more.
Are you looking for good auto body repair Marin County? If you've been in an accident and need information about collision repair centers or if it's time for a new coat of automotive paint, the following information will help you find qualified collision repair mechanics to help fix your car and get you back on the road.
Check with Your Auto Insurance Company Before Having Auto Body Repair Work Done
Some may want to evaluate your car's body damage before Marin County auto body repair shops perform body repairs or auto painting. Some insurance companies can inspect your car at your auto body repair center, while others will ask you to bring your damaged car to a claim center.
Remember: your insurance company might recommend collision repair centers, but they cannot require you to have your auto body work done at specific auto body repair shops. You have the right to choose which Marin County collision center you go to. Many good auto body shops in Marin County will save you time and money by negotiating with your auto insurance company for you.
Make Sure Collision Repair Shops in Marin County Can Work on Your Type of Car
Some auto body repair shops specialize in different makes and models or have expertise in certain types of auto body repair. If you own a less-common make or model of car, it might take special equipment to repair your car's auto body damage. Shops that are certified by car manufacturers have special training and the right equipment to fix your car.
If you need a professional car paint job, it is a good idea to call ahead to the top auto collision repair shops in Marin County as listed by the Prime Buyer's Report to be sure those auto body shops can provide the car paint colors and auto restoration you need.
Get Estimates in Writing From Auto Collision Centers Around and In San Rafael CA
Visit a few Marin County auto body repair shops and get estimates for the auto body repairs you need. Make sure estimates cover the complete auto body repair job. When comparing estimates, make sure the estimates are quoting the same work.
Keep in mind that cost isn't the only factor to consider. If an estimate from one auto body repair center seems too cheap, their body repairs might be lower quality or the estimate might not cover all of the needed auto body work, such as car paint or other auto restoration. If you have questions about the estimates, talk with the auto body collision shop owners or managers. Keep all of the paperwork from the auto body shops. Even through auto body shops should keep customer files, it is a good idea to have your own records.
Are the Auto Body Repair Technicians Certified?
Look for auto collision centers in the San Rafael CA that have I-CAR or ASE Certified Technicians. These auto body specialists have special training and have passed certification tests. Some auto body repair technicians are also certified PPG auto paint or DuPont auto paint specialists.
You should feel comfortable talking with your auto body mechanics. They should listen to your concerns and answer your questions. If you feel rushed or don't get the answers you need, talk with other techs at different auto collision centers in Marin County.
Ask What Auto Body Repair Parts the Auto Collision Centers in Marin County Use.
Do they use OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) replacement parts? OEM parts are those made by the same manufacturer who made the part the car came with. Discount auto parts and salvage replacement parts might be cheaper, but they probably won't perform as well or last as long as OEM parts. Make sure the kinds of parts the auto body repair shops use are listed on the written estimate.
Time for Auto Body Repair and Car Paint Services.
As a driver, safety is always your number one concern. But while you're snugly cushioned inside, your car is absorbing the impact of every piece of road debris, every stray shopping cart and every runaway baseball. These little incidentals add up and eventually, they go beyond the "it'll buff out" phase. If your car's exterior is starting to deteriorate, it's time to visit an auto body professional. Highly trained in a variety of methods to retain the cosmetic integrity of your car, auto body mechanics can erase any degree of damage, from tiny pebble dings to near-total major collisions.
Good auto body repair shops throughout Marin County CA also provide car paint services, such as touch up paint and car scratch repainting. Good auto body painting shops in Marin County know the good car paint tips and the best car paint colors to use to make your vehicle look new again. The best automotive paint shops use car paint colors by PPG auto paints and DuPont auto paints for durable and warrantied auto paint repair.
Marin County Auto Collision Centers Do More Than Dent Repairs in San Rafael CA
Marin County auto body shops that repair late-model cars, trucks, SUVs, new hybrids and vans can also restore classic cars or re-body vintage cars. More typical services offered by Marin County auto body shops include the initial structural damage repairs, such as pulling dents and repairing or replacing body parts. Car scratch repairs and car paint services are performed by sanding, applying primer, and expert paint matching the factory coat.
Marin County auto body shops can usually work on unibody vehicles and ladder-frame vehicles, but there are exceptions. Repairing vehicles specially constructed with aluminum requires additional I-CAR certification. Some auto body shops offer extras like shuttle services, complimentary towing, insurance repairs, and courtesy cars.
Marin County Auto Body Repair Shops Offer Many Parts and Materials
The best auto body shops utilize many different parts, materials and tools to repair your damaged vehicle. Auto body shops in Marin County can repair or replace nearly every exterior piece of your car or truck and apply expert touch up car paint or provide automotive painting that makes your car look new again.
If your car's injuries go beyond the superficial, some Marin County auto body shops in San Rafael CA and throughout will repair the underlying structural pieces too, such as frames, subframes and energy-absorbing components.
Get Warranties and Guarantees From Auto Body Repair Shops in Marin County CA
Good auto body repair shops in Marin County will guarantee parts and labor. Make sure you get any guarantees and warranties in writing so there are no questions or surprises later.
Will the Auto Body Repair Shops in Marin County CA Provide Courtesy Cars?
Some good auto collision repair shops in San Rafael CA offer rental cars or courtesy cars while your vehicle is in the shop for auto body repairs or auto paint repair. Find out ahead of time if you can count on a courtesy car or if it's up to you to rent a vehicle. Your insurance may cover the cost of rental cars.
Discuss Any Problems with the Best Auto Body Repair Shops in Marin County
If you feel unsatisfied with the auto body repair service, give the auto collision center a chance to make it right. Communication is important, so talk with the auto body shop owner or manager about any problems you may have experienced. Management at good auto body shops in Marin County will listen to your concerns and work to fix the problem. They should be concerned about making you happy and keeping your business. Honest auto body shops in Marin County will take responsibility for the quality of their auto body repair work.
Some Auto Body Shops in Marin County CA Are Much Better Than Others
The Prime Buyer's Report lists these auto body repair shops in Marin County: Campbell's Auto Body San Rafael CA, Northern California Auto Body San Rafael CA, Northgate Autobody Inc Terra Linda CA, San Anselmo Auto Body San Anselmo CA, Roadwork Auto Bodywork San Rafael CA, Redwood Collision Repair Center Sausalito CA, Regalia's Auto Body Mill Valley CA.
Other auto body shops in San Rafael CA that might still be in business include: Auto Body Express San Rafael CA, G and C Auto Body San Rafael CA, Miracle Auto Painting & Body Repair San Rafael CA, Bertolli's Auto Body Shop San Rafael CA, Blake's Auto Body Inc San Rafael CA, Mobile Auto Body Repair San Rafael CA.
Questions To Ask Auto Body Repair Shops in Marin County CA
Step 1: Describe Auto Body Damage and Desired Results to Auto Body Repair Shops in Marin County CA
Explain what type of car accident you were involved in, providing as many details as possible. Also understand what you want the results to be. Do you want your car or truck body restored to as-new condition, or upgraded with premium or performance parts? Does your car need a new coat of automotive paint, or will car scratch auto paint or touch up paint be enough? Be consistent in the way you present the information so all auto body shops in Marin County CA will have an opportunity to bid the same job.
Step 2: Use This Information for a Q & A For Auto Body Repair in San Rafael CA
You can learn a lot by the questions you are asked before handing over the keys. Some auto body repair shops may want to hurry you in and out, but technicians at good auto body shops in Marin County should have several basic questions, both about your accident and your vehicle.
Are the auto body mechanic's questions detailed? Is he asking the right questions? Does it seem as though the auto body technicians just want to get you in and out? Questions from auto body mechanics can signify whether the technicians have a genuine concern for your well being and an appreciation for your business. Select the most appropriate questions from the list below to enhance what you've already learned about each auto collision repair service in Marin County. Take notes, not just on the answers to questions, but also how you feel about the employees and the auto body repair shops.
• How long have the auto body repair shops been in business in Marin County?
• How many auto body / collision repairs have the collision centers completed?
Will they give you names and numbers of previous customers you can call as references? (All auto body shops bearing The Prime Buyer's Report TOP 10 symbol have already had customers called by our research staff verifying high customer satisfaction so you don't have to.)
• Do the auto body repair shops specialize in the type of auto body work you've described? If so, ask the auto body mechanics for some examples of similar auto body repairs they've completed.
• Will the auto body repair shop show you proof of garagekeeper's liability insurance to insure your car against damage while it's in their possession (All auto body shops bearing The Prime Buyer's Report TOP 10 symbol have already had proof of insurance verified by our research staff so you don't have to.)
• Will the collision centers provide written contracts for the collision repair work? For auto paint repair?
• Will the auto body repair centers provide written estimates for the auto body repair work and auto body repair paint work?
• How do the collision centers price auto body repair work? Do they charge by the hour or have a flat fee for auto body repairs?
• How do the collision centers in San Rafael CA price auto painting services? Do they charge by the hour or have a flat fee for auto repainting?
• What certifications do the auto body repair technicians hold?
• How long will it take the collision repair mechanics to repair your car's body damage?
• Can the auto body repair centers provide a courtesy car while your car is in the auto body repair shop or during the car paint repair?
• Are the collision centers authorized to repair your vehicle as far as your car insurance is concerned?
• Do the auto body repair shops require an independent appraiser before starting a collision repair job?
• Do the collision repair technicians use new or used parts when repairing a damaged car?
• Are the new parts OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts?
• Do the auto collision repair technicians use custom car paint or high-quality car paints by PPG paints and DuPont paints for their car painting services?
• How do the auto body repair centers in Marin County repair unibody or frame damage?
• What kind of warranty do the collision centers offer on collision repairs and car paint work and what do the warranties cover?
• What are the auto body repair centers' satisfaction policies regarding auto body repair work and auto body painting?
Once you've chosen the best auto body shop in Marin County CA for your situation, make sure they are still licensed in good standing with the state B.A.R. (All auto body shops bearing The Prime Buyer's Report TOP 10 symbol have already had their state license verified by our research staff so you don't have to.)
Tips For Auto Body Repair in Marin County
Take Your Time Choosing an Auto Body Repair Shop.
Your car is an important part of your life, so don't hire the first auto body specialist that answers the phone. If you take some time to choose the right auto body shop before starting the process, you're more likely to be satisfied.
Get Estimates From Three Separate Auto Body Repair Shops.
Use the process of collecting estimates to gather preliminary information about the different auto body shops and collision repair centers in Marin County. The process of getting estimates will help you determine various key factors such as how customers are greeted, value placed on customers, professionalism and honesty of the shop.
Get Everything From Collision Repair Shops in Writing.
We seem to rush from one thing to the next in this modern world. Slow down for a minute and make sure that each of the auto body repair shops in San Rafael CA on your preliminary list of collision centers provides you with a written description of the work, an itemized list of parts to be installed, prices for both and a timeframe for completion. Only after reviewing this should you agree to let them repair your vehicle.
Don't Be Fooled By Your Insurance Company!
Last year, almost 90% of collision repair work was insurance-related. Before signing anything, make sure your insurance company agrees to pay for repairs done by that particular auto body shop or collision repair center. But keep in mind, a repair contract will be between the repair shop and you, not your insurance company, so it is your responsibility to choose a trustworthy and quality auto body repair shop that has your best interest in mind. Be sure to check licensing, certification, liability insurances, warranties and any other relevant information before you sign with any Marin County auto body repair shops or collision centers.
Write A Description Of The Auto Body Repair Job.
You'll do better in assessing which Marin County auto body repair shops are the best if you personally write up a paragraph or two on what your needs are. Since each technician will hear the same description, you can be sure you are comparing responses to your project on a consistent basis.
Maintain Great Communication During The Auto Body Repair Work.
Communication is a two-way street. Be sure to keep in touch with the mechanics while your car is being repaired. If you have any questions or doubts at all about your car or the repairs being done, you have a right to answers from your auto body repair shop. There may be decisions that can help move the repair process along.
Agree In Advance To Do A Walkaround Upon Completion Of The Auto Body Repair.
After the job is completed, examine the detailed agreement you signed before the job began. Walk around the vehicle with the most senior auto body technician available and have the representative explain all work done. Then compare the work with the estimate and bring up anything that differentiates from the agreement.
Know Your Rights When It Comes To Auto Body Repair in Marin County.
You have rights as a consumer. Go to the California's Consumer Affairs Department's Bureau of Automotive Repair Web site for more information on auto body repair and auto body painting services in San Rafael CA.
Make Sure Your Marin County Auto Body Repair Shop Asks The Right Questions.
If the Marin County auto body repair specialist you visit seems not to care or glosses over key issues, don't hire him! You're not the only one that should be asking questions. A trustworthy and professional auto body technician should examine the damage, ask questions and actively listen with you. If you don't feel good about the facility, this auto body shop or collision repair center is not the one for you.
Glossary for Auto Body Repair in Marin County
Common Auto Body Repair & Auto Body Painting Terms
Acrylic Enamel Car Paint - An early type of automotive paint. Enamel auto paints are not a popular modern auto paint choice, but acrylic enamel car paint is known as the better type of enamel car paint. Acrylic enamel auto paint can dull and lose it's shine but cannot be polished like acrylic lacquer paint for cars.
Alignment - Properly lining up the components of a car's body, often in reference to wheel alignment.
Alignment Shims - Metal or plastic spacers used in the alignment process. On rear-wheel drive vehicles, auto body shops can add or remove shims from stacks of shims on the front control arms. On front-wheel drive vehicles, partial shims or full contact shims can be positioned behind the rear axle spindle. Camber shims are sometimes used on 4x4 axle vehicles. Shims may be adjustable or can be indexed in various ways to provide minute alignment corrections by auto collision repair centers.
Custom Car Paint / Custom Auto Paint - Custom car paint includes nontraditional and new car paint colors such as candy paint jobs (auto paint repairs that are shiny and brightly colored), pearlized auto paints, fantasy paint jobs (car paint scenes) and car paint flames.
Enamel Auto Paint - A clear or colored varnish, treated oil, or other coating used in auto body painting that dries to a hard, gloss or semigloss finish. Enamel car paints dry to a hard, shiny finish.
Finish Coat - A finish coat of car paint is the last coat of auto paint layered on during auto restoration.
Frame Alignment - A process that correctly aligns a vehicle frame, especially important for auto collision repair. Frame alignment keeps tires from wearing unevenly and helps your car drive straighter.
Lacquer Enamel Auto Paint - The finishing coat, or top coat, of car paint. Lacquer enamel layers of auto paint sit on top of the undercoats and provide a shiny appearance to the auto body paint.
Mist Coat - A light coating of automotive paint or car paint that is sprayed lightly over the auto body. A mist coat can be applied in several layers during auto body painting for an even, custom car paint job.
Paintless Dent Repair / Paintless Dent Removal in Marin County - Paintless dent repair services use less invasive techniques for minor dent repair and dent removal that allows for the dent repair without the need to repaint the area, perhaps at a cost savings. Some paintless dent repair shops in Marin County are not full service auto body shop or collision repair centers. They may be appropriate only for minor dent repair and ding repairs.
Spoiler - An aerodynamic device to deflect airflow over vehicles. Spoilers are also installed below the front bumper to reduces drag by deflecting air away from the vehicle. Auto body shops can mount spoilers on the rear deck to provide downward force.
Undercoats / Undercoating - A rust repair and rust protection method used by auto body shops that involves spraying a coat of petroleum-based undercoat on the undercarriage of a vehicle. This is especially important in areas with wet driving conditions, winter driving conditions where salt may be used on the roads or on vehicles in geographical locations close to the ocean where sea salt may corrode the car's undercarriage.
Wet Sanding - Sanding the layers of auto paint using wet sanding paper so that the underlying layers of auto paint are smoother and adhere to the new automobile paint / touch up auto paint.
Resources About Auto Body Shops in Marin County CA
Licensing & Industry Associations Regarding Auto Body Repair in Marin County CA
AAA American Automobile Association www.aaa.com
AAAM Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine www.carcrash.org
AAIA Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association www.aftermarket.org
AASP Alliance of Automotive Service Providers www.autoserviceproviders.com
ABPA Auto Body Parts Association www.autobpa.com
AIAG Automotive Industry Action Group www.aiag.org
ARA Automotive Recyclers Association www.a-r-a.org
ASA Automotive Service Association www.asashop.org
ASC Automotive Service Council www.ascca.org
BAR California Bureau of Automotive Repair www.autorepair.ca.gov
BBB Better Business Bureau www.bbb.com
CAA California Autobody Association www.calautobody.com
Diamond Certified www.diamondcertified.org
IADA Independent Automotive Damage Appraisers www.iada.org
I-CAR Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair www.i-car.com
MEMA Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association www.mema.org
NATEF National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation www.natef.org
ASE National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence www.asecert.org
SAE Society of Automotive Engineers www.sae.org
SCRS Society of Collision Repair Specialists www.scrs.com
SEMA Specialty Equipment Market Association www.sema.org
NAPDRT National Alliance of Paintless Dent Repair Technicians www.napdrt.org
Media Related to Auto Body Repair in Marin County CA
Autobody Repair News
Brake & Front End
Body Shop Business
Car and Driver
Popular Hot Rodding
Road & Track
Sport Compact Car
Turbo and High Tech Performance
The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the Top Ten Auto Body Repair in Marin County CA within the following zip codes:
94976, 94973, 94977, 94979, 94971, 94938, 94957, 94966, 94914, 94950, 94913, 94933, 94948, 94912, 94978, 94915, 94964, 94929, 94942, 94963, 94937, 94946, 94949, 94970, 94904, 94941, 94901, 94930, 94940, 94974, 94925, 94903, 94960, 94924, 94965, 94956, 94945, 94939, 94947 and 94920
The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the Top Ten Collision Repair in Marin County CA within the following cities:
Bel Marin Keys, Belvedere, Belvedere Tiburon, Black Point, Bolinas, Corte Madera, Dogtown, Fairfax, Greenbrae, Ignacio, Inverness, Kent Woodlands, Kentfield, Larkspur, Marin City, Marinwood, Marshall, Mill Valley, Muir Beach, Muir Woods, Nicasio, Novato, Point Reyes Station, San Anselmo, San Marin, San Quentin, San Rafael, Santa Venetia, Sausalito, Stinson Beach, Strawberry Point, Tamal, Tamalpais Valley, Terra Linda, Tiburon, Dillon Beach, Forest Knolls, Lagunitas, Mission Rafael, Olema, Ross, San Geronimo, Tomales, Woodacre, Almonte, Lucas Valley and Sleepy Hollow