What is the difference in a visual estimate vs an in shop estimate?

Estimates from an auto body repair shop are a great way to get an idea of what a repair will cost. It is however important to understand the difference between a visual estimate, sometimes called a preliminary estimate, and an in shop estimate.

Visual or Preliminary Estimate

Visual estimates are normally the first estimate you get from a shop. This may be done in person, or through photos sent in from your home. These estimates can be best understood as a starting point, they will only include what we can see from the outside needs to be repaired. These estimates are great to understand the basic repair scope but keep in mind that when the vehicle comes in the shop the estimate will likely change as things are taken apart and additional damage is found.

In Shop Estimate

An in shop estimate, sometimes referred to as a teardown estimate, takes place once the vehicle is in the shop and damaged parts can be removed. This estimate will be much more detailed then a visual estimate because we have the chance to see damage that is under the body panels such as the bumper. If you did receive a preliminary estimate that was approved by the insurance company we will send a supplement over to the insurance to update the additional damage.

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