When it comes to auto repair, there are two main types of shops: auto body shops and auto repair shops. Both have their own specialties and it's important to understand the difference between them. Auto body shops specialize in repairing the body of a vehicle, such as its frame, doors, windows, bumpers, and paint. They have specialized tools and experience that most standard auto repair shops don't have access to.
On the other hand, auto repair shops focus on mechanical systems such as electrical systems, engine components, brakes, and adjustments. They also provide routine maintenance such as oil changes and worn brake pads. If your car has both body and mechanical damage, a body shop is the best option. They have the tools and knowledge to make the vehicle safe to operate and can also perform necessary body repairs to make the vehicle look the same as it did before it was damaged.
However, they don't specialize in mechanical car repair and won't be able to inspect electrical systems, replace damaged engine components, work on brakes, or perform adjustments. If you need a “mechanic” for standard wear and tear issues, you should take your car to an auto repair shop. Most cities have one or two dealerships for specific car brands, but there are usually dozens of independent auto repair shops in a given area. The most reliable independent garages can compete with the service and expertise provided by dealers at a fraction of the price.
However, it's important to research before choosing an independent store as there are also unreliable ones. After an accident, you should take your car to a body shop. There, car body repair specialists will check the frame to make sure it is not severely damaged. They will fix any dents and scratches, repair damaged paint, and restore your car to look like new. Some body shops may have a mechanical repair technician onsite or they may refer you to one or subcontract that aspect of the repair to a trusted auto shop they work with. It's important to know the difference between an auto body shop and an auto repair shop so you can choose the right one for your needs.
If you're unsure which one is best for you, your insurance provider is a great source to help you find a great body shop.