Frequently Asked Questions – Collision and Auto Body Repair

After your vehicle has been repaired, or during the repairs, you may have some common questions.  Here is a list of the most commonly asked questions.

Where do I get a claim number?

Your insurance company issues claim numbers. However, please feel free to contact us directly and our customer care representative will assist your through the entire claim process.

Will the parts be ordered before I drop off my vehicle?

Typically the parts are ordered once we determine that we identified all damaged items. If your vehicle has the potential for hidden damage, then your parts will be ordered once the vehicle is disassembled fully and an accurate parts order can be created. If all damages are visible, then your parts can be ordered prior to your vehicle’s arrival.

If my vehicle’s frame is damaged, is it a total loss?

No. A car is a total loss only when the price of repairs exceeds the insurance company’s determined value of your vehicle. Nowadays, most cars are built using unibody (frame and body as one) construction. Our highly skilled technicians, with the aid of our state-of the-art computer measuring system, can return your vehicle to its original factory specifications. If it is determined that the unibody frame section is bent beyond repair, that section can simply be replaced.

Can you match the paint color?

Today’s modern factory finishes incorporate multiple layers of highly specialized paints. North Amherst Motors has made a major investment in the finest paint system available and constantly upgrades its technology and equipment to ensure that each vehicle’s paint matches. We spray water based paint, which is more environmentally friendly than the traditional solvent based paint. We take special pride in our ability to match factory finishes as the final step in the restoration process.

Can I get other service work done on my vehicle while it’s in the body shop?

Yes. We are staffed and equipped to handle many other related repairs and services including:

How long with the repairs to my vehicle take?

Your customer care representative can give you an estimate of the time it will take to complete the repairs to your vehicle. Be sure to check with your customer care representative for the specifics on your vehicle.

Can I get a ride home when I drop off my car?

Yes, we would be happy to provide this service to you. We want each customer’s visit to be a positive experience and will work diligently towards that goal. We provide a pickup and delivery service.

How can I get a Rental Car?

We have our own fleet of rental cars, always available at our facility to make the transfer from your vehicle to the rental car as seamless as possible. We will help make the necessary arrangements to bill an insurance company directly at no or minimal cost to you, or offer the same insurance company discounted rate if you are paying out of pocket for the rental.  Learn more.

How will I know when my vehicle is finished?

You will be notified when your vehicle is ready to be picked up. Feel free to call or e-mail your customer care representative during the repair process if you have questions or concerns.

Are the repairs to my vehicle covered by a warranty?

We guarantee all collision repairs with a Lifetime Warranty. This provide a warranty on all of the repairs we have performed for as long as you own your vehicle, or the lifetime of the vehicle. A copy of the final estimate is provided along with the warranty card to provide documentation of the repairs covered under the warranty.

Do I have to pay my deductible?

The amount of deductible that you will be responsible for is determined by your insurance policy. If you aren’t sure about your deductible, we can help contact your insurance company to clarify this for you.

What forms of payment do you accept?

The most convenient way to pay for your portion of the repairs of your vehicle is with a properly endorsed insurance check. North Amherst Motors also accepts personal or business checks (up to $1000.00), bank or cashier checks, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and cash. Please note that our payment policy requires payment in full at time of delivery.

What are ‘betterment’ charges?

Parts that wear out and need replacement with time and use (i.e., tires, batteries, and suspension parts) are commonly subject to betterment charges when they are replaced during the repair process. These betterment charges are determined by your insurance company and are pro-rated based on actual miles on your vehicle.

Can I wash my car after the repairs?

RECOMMENDATIONS AND PRECAUTIONS IN THE FIRST 30 DAYS DO · Wash the vehicle by hand with cool water and a very mild car wash solution using a soft cloth or sponge. · Always use clean fresh water. · Wash your vehicle in the shade DON’T · Do not use a commercial car wash. Stiff brushes or sponges could mar the finish and damage the surface. · Do not “dry wipe” your vehicle. Dry wiping can scratch the finish. · Do not drive on gravel roads. Chipping the finish is easily done in the first 30 days. · Avoid parking under trees and utility lines which are likely to attract birds. Bird droppings have a high acid content and will damage a freshly painted surface. Also, tree sap can mar or spot a freshly painted surface. · Do not spill gasoline, oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, or windshield solvent on the new finish. · Do not scrape ice or snow from the newly painted surface. RECOMMENDATIONS AND PRECAUTIONS IN THE FIRST 90 DAYS DON’T · Do not wax or polish the vehicle. This will allow the finish to dry and harden completely.

I already have an Estimate – Can you give me another one?

An estimate, or appraisal, written by an insurance company is valid for use at any shop in Massachusetts.  We begin with the first estimate, written with your insurance company’s set rates, and will file for a supplement if there is more damage found after take the car apart. Because we honor your insurance company’s appraisal, there is no need to write a new one.

I have an insurance estimate, but I want to pay out of pocket. Why is your estimate higher?

The estimate written by your insurance company includes discounted rates that would not apply if you choose to pay yourself. Each shop has varying Labor Rates that will cause the price to fluctuate, as well as other factors, such as the type of parts, where the parts come from, and so on. If you wish to discuss your estimate in detail, please feel free to call, or drop in and speak to our Customer Care Agents!


If you still have a question, please feel free to call us on 413-549-2880 or contact us online.