12 On Your Side: Ice storms mean big business for auto body shops

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Feb. 11, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Driving in snow can be difficult, but driving on ice can be nearly impossible.

Unfortunately if you get in an accident, who would you trust to fix your car?

Consumer experts say it starts with doing your homework before you actually need body work and asking the right questions could save you thousands of dollars in repairs and keep you from getting ripped off.

"Driving in ice and snow, you know a lot of people go oh snow, I'm an expert at it. Nobody is an expert at driving on ice," Carroll Proctor said.

If you are not convinced, flashback to 2 weeks ago when an ice storm paralyzed Atlanta and caused lots of accidents.

"Fender benders. You know people are going to run off the road and they're gonna hit curbs and do wheel damage," said Proctor.

He owns A.C. Proctor Paint and Body in Augusta.

Proctor said he sees an increase in business after winter storms because of the high volume of accidents and automobile damage. He said drivers should plan ahead in the event of an accident..

"The best scenario would be to pick a shop before you need it, " Proctor said.

He recommends doing your homework by checking the Better Business Bureau for an A rated business and customer and friend referrals don't hurt either.

He also suggests when you find a potential body shop to look around for possible warning signs that it may not be the place you want working on your car.

"Parts laying all over the office and it's dusty and it's dirty than you know its probably the way they're going to treat your car as well," Proctor said.

Some other advice is to consider the operation's location and overhead, get several estimates, ask questions and most importantly, follow your intuition.

"Just because the insurance company recommends somebody it does not always mean that that is a good facility," Proctor said.

You also want to ask if the shop offers a written warranty, and if so, what is covered and for how long.

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