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It can be hard to keep a cool head in the aftermath of a smash, but you need to think practically and choose the right panel beater to repair your vehicle.
Sounds easier said than done, right? Not necessarily. If you want to avoid being ripped off or having a second-rate job done on your car, then you just need to ask the right questions.
1. ARE YOUR PARTS THE REAL DEAL?
Cheap panel beaters seem like a great deal, but the poor workmanship and non-genuine parts can cost you more down the road.
If you don’t fancy having to pay another panel beater to repair the repairs and reverse the shoddy work completed by cheap panel beaters, make sure you choose a panel beater with a good reputation and a lot of experience in the smash repair business.
The number one thing that cheap panel beaters are known for is using non-genuine aftermarket replacement parts that do not meet the specifications set by the car manufacturer.
These aren’t subject to the same quality standards as genuine parts and are therefore cheaper upfront. However, they can end up costing you significantly more in the long run as they may wear more quickly, break more easily, or simply not function as required.
Genuine parts are more expensive to buy upfront because they come with a lifetime guarantee from the vehicle’s manufacturer and are made to precise finish and fit specifications.
They are the only thing a reputable panel beater will use. Using anything else may risk the safety and reliability of your vehicle, and only panel beaters who cut corners will do that.
2. HOW DO YOU CHOOSE YOUR METHODS OF REPAIR?
Ask your panel beater to explain how they determine the process of repairing your vehicle. This is a great way to discreetly check their standards and if they have set procedures in place.
While set procedures may sound like a good thing, what you should be looking for is a set process that involves examining your car from top to tail and assessing everything about it that needs to be repaired.
A panel beater’s approach to smash repairs on your vehicle should be completely personalized. If you’ve driven both a sedan and an SUV during your lifetime, you’ll understand why: no two cars are exactly alike. Settle for nothing less than a tailored quote for your smash repairs.
At Sheen Panel Service, we choose our method of repair based on the manufacturers approved repair method. Anything outside this scope doesn’t fall into the spec of the manufacturer.
When we put together panel beater quotes for our customers, there are multiple factors we take into account, such as the extent of the damage and the age of your vehicle.
Our Upload Your Smash page enables us to come back to you with a quote within the hour, but we also carefully examine your car in our panel shop, as the many factors that determine how a repair should be undertaken can’t always be depicted in photographs.
There may very well be structural damage hidden behind the cosmetic detrition to your car, and we can talk you through all our methods of repair.
3. WHAT’S THE LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE HELD BY THE TEAM?
You wouldn’t want just anyone to work on your vehicle – reputation matters. Ask your panel beater about how much experience they have in the smash repairs industry and whether they can make dealing with your insurer as painless as possible by assisting you through the claims process.
You won’t need to be concerned about shoddy smash repair techniques if the panel beater you choose has been in the business for a long time.
Ask them if they have:
- Trade school qualifications, e.g., they are trained and certified to work on your vehicle.
- Current membership with the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC). As VACC-affiliated body repairers, they will comply with all VACC equipment standards, repair standards, and disputation procedures.
- Specialist training from professional auto industry organizations such as I-CAR and BASF.
4. DO YOU OFFER A LIFETIME GUARANTEE?
As VACC-affiliated body repairers, Sheen Panel Service complies with all VACC equipment standards, repair standards, and disputation procedures. VACC members must offer a minimum three-year warranty on all smash repair services, and we have been a proud and active member of the VACC for over 40 years.
However, Sheen Panel Service goes one step further by offering a lifetime guarantee on all our repairs – providing our customers with additional peace of mind in choosing us as their panel beater.
Most of our competitors will only offer a limited guarantee on smash repairs. Our confidence in our work is one of the areas in which we stand out from the crowd.
Our lifetime guarantee means that if a fault is detected in our work, even if it’s several years down the track, then we’ll repair the issue at no cost to you. Check out our Before & After Gallery for proof of our top-quality repairs.
Asking about a lifetime guarantee is a surefire way to find a panel beater who will work with you every step of the way. Don’t accept second best when it comes to smash repairs – get workmanship that is guaranteed to restore the condition and value of your vehicle.
5. CAN YOU HELP ME OUT WITH AN ACCIDENT REPLACEMENT VEHICLE?
This might be the first question that springs to mind when searching for a panel beater, but don’t forget to ask the others as well if you want to get the best deal for smash repair services.
Whether you’ve dented your car or had a more serious accident, an alternative form of transportation while it is towed and repaired is crucial.
When consulting a panel beater, ask if:
- They offer a courtesy replacement vehicle. No one wants a rental car fee on top of smash repair costs.
- If you can specify where you want the replacement vehicle delivered (home, work, school, gym, etc).
- Whether their replacement vehicles come in a range of options (small car, family-sized unit, trade ute or service van).
- If they offer post-service care and conduct a full follow-up to ensure you’re fully satisfied in the weeks following repairs.
At Sheen Panel Service, we’ll get you back on the road straight away with a replacement vehicle that suits your lifestyle. Our fleet features over 400 modern vehicles with options for families and tradies. Plus, when you pick up your repaired vehicle, it will be repaired to pre-crash condition – valeted, detailed, and with a complimentary gift bag.
The first stage in your Canadian immigration process is to calculate your Canada Immigration points for Express Entry using the Canadian Comprehensive Ranking System.
CRS Points are awarded for (amongst other things)
- English ability
- French ability
- Your partner’s skills
- Work experience
As well as providing you with important CRS points these factors also count towards your overall Immigration Points score which must equal or exceed a total of 67
Once you receive an ITA (Invitation to apply) from Canadian Immigration as a result of your Express Entry application you’ll only have 60 days in which to lodge a formal application so under no circumstances should you lodge an Express Entry application ‘claiming’ to have certain points without first having all of your points verified through different testing, education equivalence certificates and skilled trades assessments.
Once you are invited to apply for your Canada Visa you cannot go back and have these things verified retrospectively, they must be done before you claim any points for them and given that your express entry profile is only valid for one year it makes sense to present the best possible case right from the start.
Here are the 5 steps to Panel Beating
- 1. Shrinking/Stretching
- 2. Planishing
- 3. Welding
- 4. Filling
- 5. Sanding
This involves applying heat to the damaged area of the panel whilst using a special hammer to reshape the metal. This technique is used together with Planishing to restore the panel to original shape and contours.
A planishing hammer is used to finely shape and smooth the panel surface. This metalworking technique helps push out the damaged metal where the metal is pushed against a shaping tool, known as a dolly or stake.
Welding may be use to join pieces of metal together by melting the work pieces together, once cooled it becomes a strong joint ensuring a strong vehicle structure. There are several ways to weld, such as by a gas flame or an electric arc but is dependent on the type of materials to be joined.
This involves adding putty filler to fill in some small holes in the surface so the original shape and contours can be achieved. It needs to be applied carefully our onto the area as fast as possible as once it hardens it’s not usable anymore. As the filler hardens, then it’s time to smoothed and shaped by sanding.
Sanding is the procedure used to finely shape and smooth area ready for spray painting. Depending on the stage of work, a different texture can be achieved by changing the coarseness of the sanding pad.
Skills Assessment to Emigrate to Canada as a Panel Beater
The process of getting your panel beating skills, experience and qualifications verified is called Skills Assessment and it serves two purposes.
Canada Panel beater Skills Assessment purpose one: With a positive skills assessment you’ll be able to claim the requisite points on both the Express Entry CRS and eventual Federal Skilled Trades application.
Canada Panel beater Skills Assessment purpose two: Your positive skills assessment will also double as your Red Seal qualification so having your panel beating skills assessed means that you’ll be qualified to work as a panel beater in Canada from day one.
As part of your immigration process, your dedicated Panel beaters Canada account manager will arrange for your Red Seal equivalency process so there’s no need to worry about how to move to Canada; we’ll have you covered from the moment you get the ball rolling.
Can I emigrate to Canada as a Panel Beater without a job offer?
The answer is a resounding yes, providing you have a reasonable total CRS score on your Express Entry application and can meet the 67 immigration point threshold for your Canada Federal Skilled Trades Visa.
Technically there is no minimum CRS score required to submit a Panel beater Canada Express Entry profile.
Of course, securing a job offer (documented in the right way for immigration purposes i.e. LMT) will give you an instant CRS boost of 600 points so it makes sense to start this process as soon as is practical.
Occupations on the Canada NOC list can be classed as being ‘in demand’ and the panel beaters code 7322 has been firmly established on the list for many years with lots of opportunities right across the country.
As a qualified new and highly skilled Permanent resident of Canada, you may work full-time from day one, either as a direct employee, contractor, or in a self-employed capacity. Panel beater jobs in Canada are often better paid than in the UK, Europe, and Asia and Canadian employment law respects the work-life balance.
Canada as a Motor Collision industry accreditation Program. Any Panel Beater looking to start their own shop once they have emigrated to Canada should look into the accreditation required.
Emigrate Canada are the Panel beater Canada Visa specialists with a dedicated Skilled Trades desk ideally placed to take care of not just your immigration paperwork, but also to get you registered to work from day one.