Ginger Lowrey with Riverchase Collision Repair located near the Galleria in Birmingham, AL, has been busy estimating cars that need repair and re-finishing from the winter gridlock. “We’ve just had a lot of calls, a lot of people come by, many more estimates than we would normally write,” says Lowrey.
Lowrey told local news sources that consumers need to be careful where they take their vehicles. “I think any body shop that will offer you a warranty for as long as you own the vehicle is going to be a reputable shop,” said Lowrey. “I think you have to be real careful when you file insurance claims. Often times, you will be sent to a preferred shop and they are preferred because they give that insurance company discounts in exchange for volume.” Lowrey says that you should also know what you’re paying for.
“You don’t want a lot of junk parts or aftermarket parts, they’re generic and may void warranties on your vehicle,” said Lowrey. “Most people don’t know that aftermarket parts are not crash-tested [for warranty purposes]. So if you buy a five-star minivan that’s crash-tested, then you throw aftermarket parts on it, it will not be a five-star crash-rated minivan anymore.”
And she advises consumers to get their vehicle to a shop as soon as possible.
“If your vehicle is repaired, you will not be charged storage fees at a repair facility. You will be charged storage fees if it is towed to a tow lot. I would pick a shop, have a vehicle towed to the shop you want to have it repaired at, and then you will avoid any extra charges,” she said.
Lowrey recommends these websites for consumers:
- Your Vehicle, Your Choice
- Stop Steering
- Alabama Automotive Repair Industry Society of Excellence (ALARISE)
Cars were also lining up at car washes like Blue Rain Express. Staff members at the car wash say they are expecting to see breaking numbers with more than 900 customers in line.
Meantime, Birmingham police say they are avoiding towing vehicles still abandoned on city streets after the ice and snow storm, and are giving people a chance to pick up their cars as long as it’s not interfering with traffic.