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Joining the CARSTAR network is a major step for you and your business. We’ve answered some of the most common questions about joining CARSTAR below for you. For other questions, please contact CARSTAR Development at 704-280-0769.
What to Do in Case of an Accident?
First, stay calm. If there are injuries, call 911 immediately. Do not move your vehicle, unless you are in immediate danger and it would be safer to get your vehicle in a different location. You should get the name of the person (s) driving the other vehicle (s) involved along with their phone number, driver's license, vehicle license and insurance information. Try to obtain any witness' name and phone number (s). Note the location, time and date. Use your camera phone to take pictures of the scene, vehicle damage and witnesses.
Your Consumer Rights
When you have an accident, you have the right to determine where you want your vehicle towed and where you to choose to have your vehicle repaired. A high-quality collision repair shop will arrange towing for you, perform high-quality repairs and work with your insurance company. CARSTAR stores may offer a limited five-year nationwide warranty as an added benefit.
How to Choose a Body Shop
You should choose a body shop that provides a complete written estimate, follows a structured repair process for every vehicle and features trained, certified repair experts. A national affiliation usually reflects higher quality repair standards, as does a nationwide warranty. Look for a body shop that uses the highest-quality parts and products to restore your vehicle, who will keep you informed throughout the repair process, provides excellent customer service, delivers your vehicle on time, and conducts a thorough inspection of all repairs before putting you back on the road.
About the Repair Process
The repair process begins with you bringing your vehicle in for an estimate with a trained estimator. If you choose that shop, they will work with your insurance agent to process the repair claim. A quality shop will conduct a thorough disassembly of all damaged areas of the vehicle to determine any structural or mechanical damage. They will order the needed parts for your vehicle and then complete the repair. Once the repair is complete, they will conduct a detailed inspection of the interior and exterior of your vehicle to ensure a quality repair.
Understanding Your Estimate
Your estimate should include a thorough inspection of the work to be done on your vehicle, a description of the repair parts to be used, what items your insurance will and will not cover and the expected amount of the repair. One of the reasons estimates may differ from another shop is thoroughness of the appraisal process. Some estimates may leave necessary repairs out of the initial estimate, causing the amount to be different from another facility. At CARSTAR we are thorough to identify the steps necessary for a quality and safe repair for your vehicle.
Information about Your Deductible
If your insured vehicle sustains physical damage as a result of a collision with another car or fixed object or your vehicle sustains damage related to some type of covered comprehensive peril (fire, theft, malicious mischief, vandalism, windstorm, hail, etc) your auto policy declaration pages will indicate the applicable deductible. It’s always important to double check the accuracy of your policy information with your insurance company before and after a loss. Your deductible is due when you pick up the vehicle after repairs are complete. Look for a body shop that offers financing for deductibles if you don't want to pay this out of pocket.
What Constitutes a Quality Repair
A quality repair begins with a comprehensive inspection to fully assess the damage and repairs needed to the vehicle. A structured repair process should be used to ensure the repair meets the vehicle manufacturer’s standards. A thorough repair should be performed by experts with I-CAR and ASA certifications, and training in the latest vehicle materials and technology and uses the highest quality parts and products should be used to restore your vehicle to pre-accident condition. Before the vehicle is returned to you, a thorough interior and exterior inspection, a test drive and a complete detail should be completed to ensure the repair meets your standards.
Read the fine print to understand if their warranty is available nationwide and how long your vehicle will be covered. If your vehicle is still under a manufacturer’s warranty, it doesn't mean it has to be repaired at a dealership. Most dealerships do not have their own collision repair facility and outsource their vehicles for repairs. Your vehicle's warranty is with your vehicle's manufacturer, not with the dealership. When choosing a collision repair facility, look for a body shop that offers a nationwide warranty that will be honored at any of their locations.
What to Do in Case of Storm Damage
If your vehicle has been in a storm, call your insurance agent first to report the damage. Take photos of the car where it was damaged, including any branches, water damage, mud or other elements. If you car has been submerged in water, do not drive it as mechanical and electrical elements may have been damaged. Trust your vehicle only to an established body shop business operating in the area prior to the storm.
Car Care Tips
After your vehicle has been repaired, there are some car care tips to follow to keep your vehicle looking its best outside and in. For a quick handy list that is ready to print, click here.
What does CARSTAR look for in auto body repair centers?
CARSTAR targets shops that are well-managed, with a good reputation for quality repair work and customer service in their markets.
What makes CARSTAR different from other auto body repair consolidators?
CARSTAR is one of the only consolidators that will continue to offer franchising as an option. CARSTAR is excited about the development of franchises in specific markets across the country.
Can I reserve a territory for future growth?
CARSTAR has a territory reservation system. For a deposit, you can reserve a territory.
What can CARSTAR offer that I can't get anywhere else?
CARSTAR is your one-stop shop for everything from education and training to management and financial consultation, to marketing and public relations assistance.
How long is the standard contract?
What about advertising assistance?
CARSTAR retains the services of a national advertising agency to help you with your advertising decisions. The agency's extensive experience working with franchise companies is at your service whenever you have an advertising need.
Does CARSTAR offer a program to help me better understand my financials?
CARSTAR has created a simple financial analysis system to help you get a firm grasp on your financial statements. CARSTAR also provides its store owners with Financial Focus Groups made up of stores from different geographical areas throughout the U.S. These groups meet regularly to compare key numbers, ratios, operations, marketing and proven management methods, to exchange ideas and offer support and suggestions on issues group members face.
What is CARSTAR-U?
CARSTAR-U is CARSTAR's online training system that allows our stores to participate in training programs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This system provides anytime, anywhere training and reduces the costs associated with traditional classroom training by not requiring any travel or hotel stays to effectively train your staff. CARSTAR-U is a quick and easy way to earn your CARSTAR Continuing Education Units.
Is there an annual convention where I can meet with other store owners and corporate staff?
Each fall, CARSTAR holds a conference at different visitor-friendly locations across the country. During the conference, store owners, insurance professionals and industry leaders participate in CARSTAR-exclusive educational seminars to learn ways to stay ahead of the competition and industry changes.
What about a purchasing program?
CARSTAR has established programs with nearly 50 nationally recognized companies. These programs offer the best rebates based on CARSTAR's vast purchasing volume. CARSTAR works with vendors who sell everything from company uniforms to paint and has turned these associations into better prices and rebate dollars for our store owners.
What is a CARSTAR Business Group?
A business group consists of CARSTAR store owners within a local area who combine their marketing resources and purchasing volume to their advantage.
What insurance relations program does CARSTAR offer?
CARSTAR has a full-time insurance staff working to help maximize relationships with insurance companies. CARSTAR works with insurance contacts on a national, regional and local level to assist in building referral programs.
Does CARSTAR offer help for multiple-shop owners?
CARSTAR recognizes that multiple-shop ownership is a goal of some owners. CARSTAR offer consulting to assist you with operating multiple locations.
I'm interested. What's the next step?
To get started, contact CARSTAR Development at 704-280-0769.