photo ack: carbumperrepairscardiff.co.uk
Women drivers need to know who to trust and where to take their cars for repairs to everyday motoring bumps, dents, scuffs and dings.
These are typical cosmetic car damage we ALL collect.
When we’re parking, for example, but more often (or so it seems to me) caused by careless and short-sighted others wielding trolleys, buggies, opening car doors and reversing recklessly in busy car parks.
Just like the garages women visit for MOTs, car servicing and mechanical repairs we all want to know where the genuinely female friendly accident and cosmetic repairers are in our area.
What are cosmetic car repairs?
Cosmetic car repairs affect the look of your car, your perceived status sometimes and ultimately your driving pleasure. If your car LOOKS good it’s no secret that you FEEL good and it seems to drive better too. Funny that!
photo ack: bradleysmartsolutions.co.uk
Cosmetic repairs are also known within the motor industry as SMART repairs (as in Small to Medium Area Repair Techniques). Few females know of this acronym so perhaps that’s the first point to make here. A SMART* vehicle repairer is therefore a specialist cosmetic car repairer…
*not to be confused with the SMaRT Garage Group that does service and repair work in South London and Salford… and who are part of the #FOXYLadyApproved garage network. Sorry to confuse you!
We all need cosmetic vehicle repairs at some stage.
By that I mean
+ Alloy wheel refurbishment
+ Car interior repairs
+ Car valeting
+ Cosmetic car park dings
+ Paintless dent removal
+ Pre sale tidy up
+ Scuffs and scratches
+ Vehicle recovery service
+ Wheel alignment
Remember that a pristine looking car will sell ahead of one that’s evidently been in a few supermarkets too many. My mother in law had her car tidied up before selling it recently and it flew off the shelf – she sold it to the first caller at the asking price.
What surprised me most, looking at prices recently, is that cosmetic repairs cost less than I imagined, and this price list from the Just Car Clinics group will give you an idea of the costs to budget for….
How to find a good accident or cosmetic car repairer
It isn’t easy to find a good cosmetic car repairer online.
Even Google doesn’t know the difference between a ‘service and mechanical repair’ garage and an ‘accident and cosmetic repairer’. To see what I mean, search for ‘cosmetic car repairs’ and you’ll find loads of ‘service and (mechanical) repair’ garages.
That’s such a waste of our shopping time and very misleading, especially when we might end up handing our car over to a garage that might have a go (but has no skills or license to do the work) or charge us a handling fee to simply pass the work on to one of their chums who may or may not be any better.
Even the motor industry lumps ‘repairs’ into one category when motorists are likely to be searching for ‘repairs’ yet looking for the best ‘mechanical’, ‘accident’ and/or ‘cosmetic’ repairer to suit the job in hand.
When all women want to know is who and where are the best local approved repairers we can trust not to rip us off.
In short, we want a repairer that’s best qualified to do this specialist job, but few women (or men) know what the best standard is.
We might choose a national network like FOXY Lady Approved Just Car Clinics or favour a specialist repairer for a make of car, like Ford Accident Repair Centres (a handful are FOXY Lady Approved to date). Or a specialist in a particular field such as upholstery or alloy wheel repairers.
When it comes to more major car accident repairs, FOXY looks for the Kitemark specification (known as BS10125) in bodywork repairs. Most of the leading insurers require this for their repairer networks.
Another sign of measurable quality is membership of the VBRA (Vehicle Builders and Repairers Association) that operates the only Trading Standards Code of Practice scheme. And if you can find an expert for the work you require listed at the IMI’s Professional Register at least you know that person is licensed to do the job.
When it comes to cosmetic repairs some say a mobile resource (one that might assemble a tent outside your home or office to complete the likes of spray paint repairs there) is less able to achieve the same consistent paint finish because of the outdoor/weather variant. But it might suit you better and be a quicker solution? Either way we haven’t the customer feedback to confirm this comment either way as yet.
Needless to say, after an accident and all the stress this brings, you want a business that is particularly female friendly – a business that understands how unsettling this can be.
Remember that this industry doesn’t require individuals to be licensed to carry out repairs so, whatever your foxy choice, go for a business that has clearly invested in licensed/trained staff who are more likely to provide higher standards than others.
Very often a good accident repairer will be a good cosmetic repairer because of the synergy in skills. They are likely to be experts in panel sourcing/beating, paint spraying and/or the economic supply of the best value (NB: be wary of the cheapest…) replacement parts.
You’ll also find networks of specialist often franchised services offering car valeting, alloy wheel repairs, windscreen replacements and such like. Needless to say perhaps, it’s the same old jungle out there for females so choose a female friendly approved one, where given the choice.
Here’s an example of typical repair charges at a FOXY Lady Approved female friendly accident repair group, Just Car Clinics.
Here’s the list of the latest FOXY Lady Approved garages (for MOT, servicing and mechanical repairs) and REPAIRERS (as in bodywork, accident and cosmetic car repairs).
Here’s how to provide female feedback about any local accident repairer (good or bad)
Here’s how to provide female feedback about any local cosmetic car repairer (good or bad)
We can then share your feedback re local accident repairs within the Club for the benefit of local women drivers.
FOXY’s final advice when shopping for car repairs?
1 Always look for/ask about signs of measurable quality whatever the car repair you require.
2 As tempting as a cheap price is, don’t decide on the basis of price alone – this is an unlicensed industry remember.
3 Don’t put up with excessive repair delays after an accident and poor, patronising or overcharged work of course.
4 Where you can, choose a FOXY Lady Approved repairer in your area.
5 Tell us if you have cause to complain about any UK repairer via the Feedback area of the top righthand menu area of the foxychoice.com website.
If we can help sort things out, we’ll add our voice to the female cause.
By choosing a FOXY Lady Approved ie female friendly accident repairer and/or cosmetic car repairer everybody wins in the end, just as soon as women realise they have a female friendly choice and don’t make do with repairers that clearly aren’t.
Please help us spread the word by telling your friends…
NB: Sadly cars that were accident write offs are allowed back on our roads without an insurance bill of health (see eBay for examples of this). Whilst that’s a subject for a different blog I couldn’t live with myself if a repairer I chose to repair my car did the job SO BADLY that this caused a serious accident to the person I next sold my car to…
How about you?