How to choose an auto repair or body shop

Accidents and storm damage can be stressful, but finding the best place to get your car repaired can be an added headache. With so many choices out there, it’s hard to know who you can trust with your vehicle.

With Root, you’re not limited to a list of approved auto repair shops—you get to choose based on your specific needs. After you file your claim in the Root app, a claims expert will get in touch with you to review the details and discuss next steps. We’ll do the heavy lifting—from negotiating the estimate to sending the check, and everything in between.

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Start with your policy. Know what’s covered.

Your Root claims expert can answer these questions:

Knowing the specifics of what your policy covers may impact where you choose to have your car repaired. And if you’re not a Root member, check the value of your car to determine if estimated repairs exceed it (we do that for you, too).


Understand your options.

Not all vehicle damage requires the same repair shop. For instance, you wouldn’t take your car to a mechanic to fix a dent. Nor would you have a body shop repair a broken radiator. It’s important to know whether your car will need mechanical repairs, cosmetic work, or both.

It’s also important to consider the benefits of a dealership vs. an independent shop. A dealership can offer service staff who are trained on your specific vehicle, as well as up-to-date tools and equipment. However, it may come with a higher price tag. An independent shop can sometimes offer a lower price, but may be lacking in expertise and specialized equipment.

If you’re leasing your car, you may be required to have all repairs performed at a dealership.


Search for the right repair shop.

Ask friends and family for suggestions of a body shop or mechanic nearby. These are often the most trustworthy recommendations. And read online reviews, too. You can use ASE—Automotive Service Excellence—to find an ASE certified technician or review sites like Yelp. While searching, don’t be persuaded by price alone. Yes, price matters, but so do other qualities like honesty, competency, time to repair, response to mistakes, location and proximity to you, hours of operation, warranties, and how well they communicate in laymen’s terms to customers.

Ask questions.

Once you choose a repair shop, communicate directly with the advisor assigned to you. It may be a good idea to request they inspect your car with you so you can ask questions and assess the current condition of the vehicle. This can be helpful in the event that your vehicle incurs additional damage at the shop.

After the repairs are finished, inspect the work thoroughly.

  • Does the paint look correct—is it the same color and texture?
  • Are the gaps uniform and consistent?
  • If mechanical work was done, does the vehicle drive properly?


Let Root make it easy.

The repair process is a lot more than just choosing where to go. Negotiations and technical conversations happen behind the scenes, and our Root claims experts have your best interests in mind. They’ll let you know what to expect at every step. Your claims expert will explain how payments work with your deductible and can help with a rental car or Lyft credits, if you carry Rental coverage.


  • Know what your car insurance policy covers and how much you’ll have to pay before getting any service done.
  • Shop around—price isn’t everything. Quality of work is equally important.
  • Ask lots of questions. As a customer, you have a right to understand the how and why behind all repairs.
  • Get your estimate in writing. (Your Root claims expert will provide it.)

Having to deal with repairs is never fun, but being a Root member helps to make things a little easier. We’ll have you back on the road in no time.

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