The following are questions most often asked by our customers. Please feel free to contact us in person, by phone, or by e-mail if you have additional questions. We are happy to help!.
Do I need to schedule an appointment to receive an estimate?
We provide both scheduled and unscheduled estimates. If you are able to call ahead to schedule an estimate it helps us to get you in and out faster by ensuring that we will have an estimator available when you arrive. We will always do our best to accommodate unscheduled walk-in estimates as well (subject to staff availability). NOTE: Please let us know if you have received or will be receiving an estimate from the insurance company, as this may save you the trouble of having to come in to see us for an estimate.
- To schedule an estimate at our Westerville location please call us at (614) 890-6109.
- To schedule an estimate at our Grandview location please call us at (614) 488-6106.
Is there a charge for me to receive a written estimate?
No. Unless your vehicle is older or special circumstances exist, Rife’s Autobody does not charge for collision repair estimates.
Where do I get a claim number?
Claim numbers are issued by the liable insurance company, usually at the time that you report your accident. Please write the claim number down and keep it handy, as you may need it when corresponding with repair shops, rental car agencies and doctors offices.
Can you match the paint color of my vehicle?
Yes. The paint code on your vehicle provides us with the formula necessary to mix the paint for your car exactly as the factory did. We are also able to formulate custom colors, giving us the ability to match nearly every color under the sun. We are constantly updating our equipment and training to ensure we have every advantage at our disposal. NOTE: The chemical make up of some older automotive paints can allow the color to fade and the surface to dull, which at times can make it impossible for anyone to match. Paint technology has come a long way though, making this a very rare occurrence.
How long will it take to repair my vehicle?
Because each situation is different there is no standard time period necessary to make repairs. The length of time is dependent on the extent of the damage, availability of parts, and your insurance adjustor’s timeliness. When preparing your estimate we will provide you with an estimated time of completion, and if additional damage is found after teardown your Repair Process Manager will contact you immediately to advise of any changes.
Is there a warranty on the repairs to my vehicle?
Rife’s Autobody offers a lifetime warranty on most repairs for as long as you own the vehicle. Our warranty is part of a national warranty program and is honored at hundreds of collision repair shops all across the country.
Must I notify my insurance company before repairs?
Yes. Most insurance policies require that you notify the company or your agent, make a report, and tell them where the damaged vehicle may be inspected. The choice or repair shop is completely up to the vehicle owner, so if you know where you would like your work performed just advise the insurance company of your decision.
Do I have to pay a deductible? Who do I pay a deductible to?
If you have a deductible, it is your responsibility to pay the deductible to the repair facility upon the completion of repairs. The amount of your deductible is determined by your insurance policy. If you do not know the amount of your deductible please refer to your declarations page or contact your agent.
Who is responsible for payment to the repair shop, the insurance company or me?
As the vehicle owner you are responsible for choosing a repair shop and for seeing that the repair shop is paid for their work. The insurance company may opt to pay us directly, but the paper trail legally goes through you before coming to us. As such, it is extremely important that YOU choose a repair shop that you feel will meet your expectations, and not allow an insurer or other third party to choose for you. You are the responsible party and the one who must live with the repairs, not the insurance company.
What forms of payment do you accept?
The easiest and most convenient way to pay for your portion of the repairs to your vehicle is with a major credit card. We accept Visa, Mastercard and Discover. We also accept insurance checks, cash and bank checks. Personal and business checks are accepted up to $250.00.
If my vehicle's frame is damaged is the car a total loss?
Not necessarily. Using a state-of-the-art computer measuring system Rife’s Autobody can return your vehicle to its original factory specifications. If it is determined that the frame section is bent beyond repair, that section can usually be replaced. We will not perform any frame or unibody repairs that fall outside of the original vehicle manufacturers guidelines or requirements.
What if my car is a total loss?
If the damage to your car is greater than your car’s worth then it is considered to be a “total loss”, and typically should not be repaired. If the loss is being paid for by an insurance company then the insurer is normally required to pay you an amount equal to the cars retail value based on the condition it was in prior to the accident. Once a settlement is reached, the insurance company takes possession of the car and you get to go shopping for a replacement. Since a cars value is a subjective amount it may serve you well to do some homework before agreeing to accept what is offered to you by the insurer. Consulting websites like NADA.com and KBB.com can help you determine your cars “book” value, and checking sites such as autotrader.com and cars.com will help give you an idea of how much similar cars are currently listed for. Most of these websites offer their information in print form as well which can usually be found at your local library.
Will you buy my wrecked car?
On occasion Rife’s Autobody does buy wrecked or damaged vehicles. If you think you might be interested in selling your car in “as is” condition, please let your service advisor know or contact us via e-mail by clicking HERE. Please note that we do not purchase vehicles which have been declared to be a total loss or vehicles which have a “rebuild” or “salvage” title.
Do you assist with rental car services?
Yes. Rife’s Autobody recommends Hertz Rental Cars and can help you make all necessary arrangements. Hertz can meet you at our shop with a car, and when your repairs are completed you can leave the Hertz car with us. Check your insurance policy to find out if you have rental coverage and what your specific limitations are.
Hertz can be reached in the Westerville area at 614-882-6840.
Hertz can be reached in the Grandview area at 614-221-3000.
Hertz after-hours: 614-239-3254
Can I get a ride home when I drop off my vehicle?
We do not have an official shuttle service, but if you need a ride we will be glad to assist if we have someone available. If you know in advance that you will need a ride please call ahead though, as this is not a guaranteed service.
How will I know when my vehicle is done?
We will keep you informed throughout the repair process and will call you upon completion to let you know when your car is ready to be picked up. You can also check the progress of your repairs on-line through the Rife’s Online Vehicle Express Review service (ROVER for short) which you can access from the home page of this website. ROVER is a free service, but at this time is only available upon request so you will need to let us know if you wish to access it. You are also welcome to call or e-mail us anytime during the repair process to check and see how things are progressing. Your Repair Process Manager’s e-mail address can be found on the Contact Us page.
Can I get other work done on my car while it is in the body shop?
Yes. Just let us know what other work you would like done so that we can make the necessary arrangements. Additional repairs may not be covered by your insurance company.
What are your hours? Are you open on Saturday?
Both Rife’s Autobody locations are open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:30pm and on Saturday from 9:00am – 12:00noon.
Will the parts be ordered before I drop off my vehicle for repair?
Whenever possible we will order the necessary parts for your repair in advance of your scheduled drop off date. This is done to help ensure that your car is repaired and back in your hands without unnecessary delays. In certain instances this may require that we ask you for a deposit at the time of scheduling.
What are Betterment Charges?
Can I wash or wax my vehicle after it has been repaired?
Please observe the following guidelines regarding the care and cleaning of your cars new finish:
- Wash the vehicle by hand with cool water and a very mild car wash solution using a soft cloth or sponge. This is especially important during the first 30 days.
- Always use clean fresh water and wash the vehicle in a shaded area.
- Commercial car washes are not recommended. Stiff brushes or sponges could mar the finish, especially during the first 30 days.
- 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 and some berries have a high acid content and canl damage a freshly painted surface. Tree sap can also mar 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.
- Do not wax or polish the vehicle for at least the first 90 days. Although the finish is hard and dry it may take up to 90 days to fully cure. Wax or similar substances can interfere with the curing process and may eventually lead to paint failure.