How Long Should It Take To Repair My Car?

As a body shop owner this is one of the toughest questions we have to answer in our daily routines.  There are many factors to take into consideration as to how long it should take to get your car repaired, otherwise known as “cycle time.”  Cycle time is usually measured from the day your car is dropped off at the repair facility until the day it is picked up.  The current nationwide average for cycle time is 12 days.  The key word here is average because many jobs go much quicker and yet there are some that take much longer.  So you may ask why this is so hard to figure this out.   A few areas that we continually see delays include; insurance approval, parts delivery and finding more damage once the car is tore down.  Insurance approval is usually needed before the shops can begin repairs.  Many insurance companies respond within a few days however I’ve seen insurance companies take a few weeks before giving approval.  Parts delivery normally is pretty quick; however many times parts are ordered wrong because there are so many options with today’s cars.  The last area, finding more damage once the car is torn down, is probably the biggest problem.  It is hard to see all the damage on a vehicle until it is torn down.  On more than 50% of the cars we work on we will find additional damage that needs repaired.  Many times this involves ordering additional parts which extends the delay.  The good news many body shops are streamlining their processes to cut down on the amount of delays.  This is an ongoing process and body shops are continuing to improve their processes in order to fix cars faster.   I believe the national average will drop by 1 or 2 days in the next several years.