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An angry-looking man talks on his cell phone, with his wrecked car visible in the background.
Everyone who has experienced a wreck has questions about their car repair process. We’re here to help.

After a car wreck, most drivers have questions. The process can be overwhelming, especially if it is your first time experiencing a wreck with car damage.

You are not alone with body shop questions. The more you know about collision repair, the easier and more efficient your experience will be.

How do I find a reliable body shop?

Most people go to an auto body shop based on recommendations, which can be very helpful. Your insurance agent may also recommend a body shop. Take these recommendations into consideration along with your own research.

Should I use my insurance’s recommendation?

Insurance companies have a list of direct repair shops (DRP). The insurance companies regularly monitor these body shops to make sure they still meet their set criteria. If you choose to have your car repaired by the recommended DRP, the shop can begin the repairs without waiting for the insurance adjuster. This makes your car repair process more efficient.

Is the shop certified?

Close up of a man writing on a clipboard in a garage, with a car with an open hood in the background.
If your auto body shop is certified, it is more likely to have more qualified technicians working on your vehicle.

Before taking your car to a body shop, find out if the shop offers certified collision repair. This means manufacturers train the technicians to repair that specific model of vehicle.

If your car is new, find out how often technicians train. This gives you an idea of their experience on the newest vehicles.

How much will repairs cost?

The biggest question you may have is how much the repairs will cost. Most shops will not provide an estimate over the phone. Technicians need to see damage for a general idea of the repairs needed.

However, at Ellis & Salazar Collision, an Austin body shop, a Smartphone Estimating Tool is available to find out a quick approximate cost of repairs. Drivers snap a photo, send some information, and get an estimate.

This estimate is not a final cost and the amount can change once a technician thoroughly looks at the car for any damage that isn’t immediately visible. It can, however, give you an idea of your cost.

Ellis & Salazar has been providing body shop repair in Central Texas for more than 60 years. We are ready for any questions you may have about the repairs and process. Use our estimating tool for a free estimate or give us a call to schedule your repair.

For more car how-to’s and information, visit Ellis & Salazar on Facebook.

After a car accident, a driver must decide whether or not to repair his or her car. To determine repair costs, and find out if your car is totaled, you’ll need to find an Austin collision repair shop.

Insurance company declared my vehicle totaled – Now what?

An Austin body shop will inspect the damage and provide a repair estimate to the insurance company. If the insurer determines the repair cost is more than the current value of the vehicle, the insurer declares the car totaled and will not pay for the repair.

At this point in the process, it helps to understand your insurance policy. Know what to expect in terms of your coverage for a car that is not repairable. This helps you understand what kind of payment they should provide. If you disagree with the insurance company’s assessment, do some research before contacting your agent. Take a look at prices online for your year, make, and model of vehicle. Talk with used car dealers for their estimate, and also let your insurance agent know of any custom or additional features on your vehicle that may add to its value.

Repairing a totaled car

If the vehicle that was wrecked was a daily commuter, repairing the car may not be important. However, some cars hold a sentimental value for owners, whether they are classics, a handed down vehicle from a loved one, or a first car.

When a car owner wants to repair a totaled vehicle, let the insurance company know soon after the car is totaled. The insurer will take out the car’s salvage value from the total it was going to pay for the current value. A salvage title will be necessary to drive the vehicle again. The repair costs will be your responsibility and not your insurance company’s.

At Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, we provide collision repair Austin, our team of technicians understand what it takes to repair vehicles with extensive damage and to make the car safe to drive again.

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An outside view of two dash cameras attached near the top of a windshield.
Dash cameras are becoming increasingly popular, filming the outside or inside of a car while driving.

We live in a world where much of what we do in public is on camera. If you go inside a business, you may be on a security camera. When attending events, you may be in someone’s video from a smartphone. And now, more drivers use dash cameras than ever before. Many people use them in their personal vehicles to capture various perspectives while driving.

There is not a specific law in Texas that pertains to dash cameras. However, there are privacy and driving laws that drivers using a dash camera should know.

Privacy rights

With cameras that surround us in public and people using their smartphones, it is easy to forget that we do have rights to our privacy.

Recording video from a dash camera while driving is not against the law in Austin, as long as it is hands-free. Mount the camera on the dash and never maneuver it while driving. If you are recording audio, remember the privacy laws in Texas regarding consent to being recorded with audio.

Also, it is not against the law to record a traffic stop, or any interaction with police, in Texas.

Keep a clear view

If your dash camera is mounted on the dashboard or on your windshield, do not put it in a location that blocks your view. Make sure your camera doesn’t prevent you from seeing vital road signs, pedestrians, or other vehicles.

Also, never depend on a dash camera as your view for driving. The camera can serve as a different perspective of what you see while driving and can become an extra set of eyes, but should not be relied upon for safety.

Benefits of accident video for a collision center

Close-up of a front bumper and headlight, dented and misaligned.
Dash cameras can help drivers when talking to car repair technicians and their insurance.

Drivers who get into a wreck can provide the video footage to their body shop for repair technicians to review. Technicians can then have a better understanding of the impact to the car and possible damage.

The video can also be helpful for insurance agents, determining blame for an accident, or viewing your driving behaviors that may have caused the crash.

At Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, a body shop in Austin, we have provided high quality collision repair to vehicles for more than 60 years. The more details you have regarding the accident can help our technicians provide the most accurate repairs to your car so you can get back on the road.

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