Frequently Asked Questions

What are your hours of operation?  We are open daily Monday – Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm.  We are closed on the weekends and specific holidays.

Are your estimates free?  Yes.  We typically schedule our estimates by appointment only.  An estimate can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 30+ minutes, depending on the amount of damage to your vehicle.  We are a smaller shop, so scheduling appointments helps us focus solely on your vehicle and provide the best customer service possible.  Click our link to schedule an appointment with us today.  We generally schedule estimates between 8:30am – 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.

Do I need an appointment to drop off my vehicle for repairs? An appointment is strongly recommended so we can be prepared in advance for your vehicle.  We will schedule with you a convenient drop-off date once your estimate has been completed and/or reviewed.  Examples of when an appointment is not necessary would be if you feel your vehicle is no longer safe to drive or if you are unable to drop off at another time.  Please be advised that vehicles dropped off without an appointment may take longer to repair because of parts ordering, insurance company approval, and our current workload in the shop.

What makes of cars to you repair?  We repair all makes and models, foreign and domestic.  Please keep in mind that we only repair late-model vehicles 15 years old or newer.

Why don’t you fix older vehicles?  We are a small shop. As vehicles age, the repair process can often be hindered by paint fade and peeling issues, lack of part availability, rust and corrosion concerns, wear and tear, and lower vehicle values can increase the likelihood of a total loss. These types of repairs can be difficult to warranty and can take longer to complete. For these reasons, we’ve chosen to only fix late model vehicles within 15 years of age.  Thank you for understanding.

What forms of payment do you accept?  We accept multiple forms of payment including all major credit cards, personal checks, money orders, cash, and even Apple Pay.

What if the check has a lien holder’s name on it?  The lien holder must endorse the check before we can accept it. The lien holder will usually want proof that the vehicle has been repaired before signing the check. We can usually help with this by providing documentation or pictures.

Can the insurance company leave the lien holder’s name off the check to avoid the hassle?  Yes. Most of the time, the insurance company will include the shop’s name instead of the lien holder if you ask. This is much more convenient for everyone. If the check has already been issued in your name and the lien holder’s name, you can ask the insurance company to reissue it in the manner described above.

When do I pay my deductible?  If you have a deductible, we do not collect it until repairs are completed and you are ready to pick up your vehicle, unless you wish to pay it sooner.  Make note that if you are paying out-of-pocket, we may require a deposit ahead of time to cover any necessary parts that we have to order for your vehicle.

Do I have to pay in full before I can pick up my vehicle?  Yes, we do require your balance to be paid in full before we can release your vehicle.  If an insurance company is paying for the repairs, we will need possession of their check endorsed by you or confirmation from the insurance company that payment has been issued to Dream Team Collision, Inc.

What is a betterment charge?  Parts that wear out and need replacement with time and use such as tires, batteries, and suspension parts are sometimes subject to a betterment charge when they are replaced during the repair process. The collision repair company does not determine these charges. They are determined by the insurance company and are pro-rated based on the actual miles on your vehicle or the age of the part.

Do I have to get more than one estimate?  Absolutely not.  You have the right to take your vehicle to the shop of your choice and by law only one estimate is required.  In some instances, especially when insurance is not involved, it makes sense to get more than one estimate to shop around and get different options and opinions regarding your vehicle.  It is entirely up to you.

Can you give me an estimate over the phone?  Unfortunately it is impossible to give an accurate estimate over the phone or via email without seeing the vehicle in person.  There are a lot of factors involved in creating an estimate and chances are there will be more damage than initially thought.  If you have specific questions relating to your vehicle or a type of repair, don’t hesitate to give us a call and we will be glad to assist you.

Do you offer any discounts?  At Dream Team Collision, we are always working on ways to offer unique and affordable options for our customers.  No matter what, we will provide you with a fair and reasonable estimate up front.  We are strong supporters of our military and all active military members automatically get 10% off of their out-of-pocket repair.  Keep checking our promotions link to see our current discounts and promotions.

Is your shop insured?  Yes, we have a general liability policy to cover any unforeseen circumstances.  Also, rest assured that your vehicle is safe at our shop.  We have a state of the art security system with high definition nighttime cameras to monitor the premisses inside and out 24 hours a day.

Why should I bring my vehicle to Dream Team Collision, Inc.?  Unfortunately, being in the industry for so long, we’ve seen a lot of bad work from bad shops.  The entire industry today has somewhat of a bad reputation for shops overpricing and under performing.  This is why Dream Team Collision exists.  We want to set the standard and change the views of what the auto repair industry should be.  Just take some time to navigate through our website and feel free to give us a call with any questions.  Fixing a car is not easy work.  It takes skill and integrity.  We provide both and will do our very best to meet or exceed all expectations.  We want our customers to become our fans.

Do you provide a warranty on repairs to my vehicle?  Yes.  Dream Team Collision Inc. stands behind our work and offers a limited lifetime warranty on all workmanship as long as you own your vehicle, unless otherwise stated.  Warranty on replacement parts follows the manufacturer’s standard warranty.  Standard wear and tear is not covered under warranty.  Circumstances where a warranty may not be provided are prior defective repairs, paint peeling, customer-supplied parts, and preexisting rust or corrosion.

Do you provide customers with rental vehicles?  We do not have our own line of rental vehicles at Dream Team Collision.  That is an entirely separate business that involves special licenses and permits.  We can, however, help arrange a rental car for you.  If your rental is covered by your insurance company, we will arrange for you to be picked up from our shop when you drop off your vehicle.  Most insurance companies use Enterprise or Hertz.  If you do not have rental coverage but would still like a car, we can help get you a rental at a discounted daily rate.

If I drop off my vehicle, can you give me a ride home?  For our customers within a 10 miles radius, we will be glad to offer you a ride back to your residence after you drop off your vehicle if you do not have rental car assistance.  Please be sure to let us know in advance when you schedule so we can coordinate this for you.

Will you keep me updated on the status of my repair?  Yes. Depending on the length of time your repair will take, we will contact you either by phone, text message, or e-mail (whichever you prefer) to let you know how the repair is coming along and if there are any delays.  We will not call every day but instead will notify you as your vehicle progresses through the repair process.

How long will it take to repair my vehicle?  It is almost impossible to answer until we are able to see your vehicle and complete a written estimate.  Repairs can range anywhere from 2 days to several weeks depending on the amount of damage, part availability, and labor involved to repair and paint.  Once we have seen the vehicle and scheduled a time for you to drop off, we will do our absolute best to pinpoint a completion time frame for you and will keep you updated along the way.

I only have minor damage, should I call my insurance company? If you feel your damage is minor, it is best to get an estimate before notifying your insurance company.  Sometimes, just the act of notifying your insurance company about vehicle damage can effect your policy.  With the cost of materials and labor today, repairs are often more expensive than expected, but it’s best to see how much the repair will cost before getting insurance involved if you plan to pay out of pocket.

What is the average cost of repairs?  The average repair cost can depend on several factors including type of vehicle, make and model, and severity of damage.  Factoring in all repairs, the average estimate typically ranges between $1,900 and $2,300.  Making sure you have proper insurance coverage on your vehicle is important.

Why do estimate prices vary between shops?  Estimates in some way are based a lot on opinion.  Put 10 people in a room with a car and you’ll get 10 different estimates.  This is because of things like repair vs replace decisions on parts, types of parts being used, labor rates, estimator knowledge, and the overall process of repair.  Lower estimates may not include all the necessary work to ensure your vehicle is returned to pre-accident condition. Using lower-quality parts and materials will also affect the price.  At Dream Team Collision, we will write the most accurate estimate possible using high-quality parts and materials and we will discuss the repair process with you in detail.

I have an estimate from another shop, can you beat it?  We will be glad to review any estimate from another shop to see how we compare.  Keep in mind, estimates today are done using computer software, so often times a higher estimate means either more labor procedures written or more expensive parts being used.  We will most likely beat any competitor’s estimate apples to apples.  We often find a competitor’s estimate will have higher labor rates, unnecessary parts or labor, or missing items.  Sometimes we will tend to be more expensive in the end, but our estimates are also more accurate up front so there are no surprises later.  The old saying, “you get what you pay for,” does hold some weight.  If you have an estimate from another shop, just click our link to schedule an appointment with us and make sure to bring a copy for us to review.

Why do estimates change (increase)?  When writing an estimate, an appraiser can only write what he or she can see.  It doesn’t do any good to “assume” damage.  Vehicles today are designed with multiple types of materials and are engineered to absorb impact. Often times, once a vehicle is brought into a repair shop and exterior panels are removed, hidden damage can be found.  This can result in additional parts and labor charges.  Other times, part prices from manufacturers can change or parts being removed from a vehicle could break if they are designed for one-time-use.  Repairing a vehicle with today’s modern advancements can be rather challenging.  We do our absolute best to write the most accurate estimate for you so there are no surprises, but all estimates are subject to change if additional damage is found.

Do you work with my insurance company?  At Dream Team Collision, Inc., we work with all major insurance companies to get your vehicle repaired the right way.  If you already have an estimate from your insurance company, just schedule an appointment with us so we can review their estimate with your vehicle.  Make sure to bring a copy of their estimate as well as any payments they may have issued you for the cost of repairs.

What if your estimate is more than my insurance company’s?  No worries.  If you are going through an insurance company, we require a copy of their estimate to work off of initially. Often times we will have a difference of opinion on labor or parts, or we will find hidden damage.  If this is the case, we will work directly with your insurance company to cover any additional expenses.

My insurance company told me to go to another shop, do I have to?  No.  This is an unfortunate but common misconception in the industry today. Many insurance companies have shops they recommend as part of a direct repair program but this is only a recommendation, not a requirement.  As the vehicle owner, you have the right to choose whichever shop you want to repair your vehicle.  You cannot be “steered” into going to a shop you are not comfortable with.  We recommend doing research on where you want to take your vehicle before making a decision.  We’d be glad to assist in your decision any way we can.  Even if we are not the right choice for you, we will still be glad to help you with any information we can provide.

I have a new car and just got into an accident, do I have to take it to the dealer?  No.  Once again, this is a common misconception in the industry today.  You have the right to take your vehicle to the shop of your choice.  Taking your vehicle to a dealership body shop has no advantages.  It’s the same type of technicians using the same type of materials and paint systems.  If there is something dealer-specific that needs to be repaired (i.e. electrical issues or engine work), shops can coordinate with the dealer’s service department to get it fixed for you.  Often times taking your vehicle to a dealer will result in a longer length of repair because of excessive volume issues.  Having your vehicle repaired by a shop other than the dealer will not void your factory warranty.  In many cases, shops and insurance companies will offer their own warranty on the repair work completed.  Here at Dream Team Collision, we offer a limited liftetime warranty on workmanship for as long as you own your car, unless otherwise stated. Parts are warrantied based on the manufacturer’s specifications.

Do you do state inspections?  No. In order to do state inspections you have to be licensed by the state.  This is typically done at service or mechanical shops. However, if your vehicle is in our shop for repair and it is due for a state inspection, we can coordinate that for you to save you an extra step later.  The standard cost of a state inspection in Virginia is $16.00. Just be sure to mention it to us when scheduling your drop off date.

Do you do mechanical work?  We do all forms of mechanical work when related to your collision repair including airbags, suspension, alignments, and cooling.  Anything we can’t do in-house, we will sublet out to a reputable mechanical shop for completion.  We do not do maintenance-related mechanical work such as oil changes, heating and air conditioning service, brakes, or tune ups.

What is a total loss?  A total loss occurs when the cost of repairs exceeds a specific percentage of the insurance company’s determined value of your vehicle.

Do you fix total losses?  Unfortunately, once an insurance company declares a vehicle a total loss, we do no proceed with repairs.  Chances are there will be additional hidden damage and increased costs that the insurance company will not cover beyond the value of the vehicle.

Do you do restoration work?  We only focus our attention on late model vehicles that are 15 years old or newer.  Restorations are tedious projects that involve tremendous amounts of time and labor which is more fit for a shop specializing in that type of work.  We are a smaller shop and do not have the capacity to take on this type of work. They can also be very costly.

Do you do custom repairs and painting?  No.  Custom repairs and painting is more of a specialized type of business.  This includes vehicles with custom-color paint jobs and modified body kits.  We only repair vehicles with their original factory color and body panels.

Do you fix motorcycles?  We do not fix damaged motorcycles.  We can, however, on a case-by-case basis, paint motorcycle parts.  Parts have to be disassembled by our customer ahead of time and we can paint them only if using an original factory color.

Do you fix flood damaged vehicles?  No.  Flood damage can open all kinds of doors into corrosion and electrical issues.  We recommend finding a local service or mechanical shop to complete this type of repair.  You may also need to go to a reputable upholstery shop.

Can you do hail claims?  Yes! Most likely a majority of the dents and dings can be removed by a process called Paintless Dent Removal (PDR). We would need to schedule you for an estimate to look over the vehicle and determine the severity of damage. After that, we would schedule a date for you to drop off and we would arrange for a local specialist to come to the shop and remove the dings accordingly. In most cases, various trim pieces will need to be removed for access. The entire process takes on average 3-5 days unless specific parts have to be replaced and painted.

Do you do upholstery work?  If there is upholstery or interior damage such as a broken interior trim piece, a torn convertible top, or a seat tear as it relates to a collision repair, then yes we do.  But we do not do upholstery work otherwise.  If your insurance claim involves upholstery work that we cannot complete in-house, then we will send your vehicle out to a local reputable shop that specializes in that type of work for you.

Can you do aluminum repairs?  Yes.  The increasing use of aluminum in the production of modern vehicles is the new reality.  It has several advantages over conventional steel including its light weight which allows for better vehicle fuel consumption and the reduction of harmful emissions into the atmosphere.  Just like anything in the automotive business, aluminum repair requires special tools and training to be done correctly.  We have invested several thousand dollars in the proper equipment and training to repair aluminum based on the industry guidelines.

What makes aluminum repair different than steel?   The physical properties of aluminum are different than that of steel making the repair process quite different. Steel has a “memory” when bent or deformed and has a tendency to go back to its original shape during the repair process. With steel, heat can aid in the reforming process but may not be recommended on many of today’s high-strength steels.  Conversely, aluminum has a tendency to remain in its current shape or remain deformed when damaged. The grain structure of aluminum differs from that of steel because it is much less inclined to re-align during the repair process, and unlike steel, aluminum should always be heated during straightening.  This can make repairs difficult and require different equipment and more finesse and patience. Proper tools and training are important because if the aluminum is accidentally stretched while repairing, the panel is no longer repairable.  Also, aluminum and steel do not mix.  Aluminum repairs must be made in a separate area away from steel repairs to prevent cross-contamination and corrosion issues.

While my car is in your shop, can you do other services?  Absolutely.  We offer a wide range of additional services including pinstriping, headlamp restoration, wheel repair, detailing, and glass replacement.  Please be sure to let us know what exactly you would like done so we can work it in with your repairs.

Is my paint going to match?  The ideal answer is yes. There is no such things as a “perfect” color match and those that say there is are embellishing the truth.  It’s actually the illusion of a perfect color match.  We use a state-of-the-art environment-friendly computerized paint matching system, but what most people don’t realize is that there is usually more than one version of their vehicle’s factory color which is called an alternate.  This is based on when and where the vehicle was painted by the manufacturer. We match the appropriate alternate for your vehicle using a series of chip decks with sample colors.  On few occasions the color will have to be specially tinted to match the vehicle.  If there is enough damage to a specific area or panel of your vehicle, we will blend our color into an undamaged adjacent panel to ensure color match.  Blending is an industry-standard process used to help with color matching making slight variations in color undetectable to the human eye.  Color match also depends on the vehicle’s current paint condition, fade, and if the vehicle has ever been painted before.

Why does my bumper cover look like a slightly different color than the rest of my car?  Many people don’t realize that most bumper covers don’t exactly match the rest of their vehicle, even when purchased brand new.   This is because they are not consciously paying attention to it.  On most vehicle models, front and rear bumper covers are made from some type of plastic while the  adjacent panels are made out of some type of metal.  The two separate materials will reflect light differently causing the paint to appear a different color.  Sometimes the appearance can be caused by variations in body contours that also reflect light differently.  Other times, when cars are assembled at the factory, the bodies of the vehicle are painted in one location, and the bumpers are painted in another, so there are actual differences in the paint that was mixed.  Take a moment to walk through a parking lot and pay attention to bumper cover colors and you’ll be surprised to notice how many actually don’t match.

Do you use factory parts?  We always try to use new factory parts (OEM) for our repairs but in some cases alternative parts could actually be beneficial.  For example, a factory part could be on backorder or perhaps just way too expensive to use.  Also factory parts typically have a warranty period of a year whereas most alternative or aftermarket parts tend to have a lifetime warranty.  We will address this as it relates specifically to your vehicle and give you options to consider.  The use of factory parts is also dependent on your insurance company and what they are allowing on their estimate.  Most insurance companies will try to use alternative parts such as used (LKQ) or aftermarket (A/M) to keep the repair cost to a minimum.  If your insurance company wrote you an estimate, be sure to review it carefully and address any concerns or questions with the appraiser at that time.  If you do not want any used or aftermarket parts on your vehicle, make sure to tell your insurance company.  Depending on your claim situation or your policy, you may or may not have a choice.  If an insurance company does use alternative parts and there are fitment or quality issues with them, we will make sure to notify the insurance company to get them replaced with factory parts.

Do you use factory paint?  There is no such thing as factory paint, meaning we don’t call Toyota and order their paint for the next job.  All paint is mixed in-house and this method is the same at the dealership body shops.  There are several different manufacturers of automobile paint products including Axalta (formerly Dupont), PPG, BASF, and Sherwin Williams.  At Dream Team Collision, Inc., we use an industry-leading top-of-the-line waterborne paint system from Spies Hecker that is manufactured by Axalta (formerly Dupont).  This is the same type the factories use. Waterborne has several advantages including eco-friendly properties, fast production times, and great color matching ability.

What exactly is waterborne paint?  Waterborne paint is the new standard in automotive refinishing.  Waterborne paints have been evaluated as alternatives to solvent-based paints.  The volatile organic compound (VOC) content of waterborne paints is significantly lower than conventional solvent-based paints, thereby reducing VOC emissions.  Waterborne paints also reduce worker exposure to hazardous air pollutants and the overall amount of hazardous waste generated.  Vehicle manufacturers use waterborne paint in the production of modern vehicles and is the choice among leading repair shops, including Dream Team Collision, Inc.

After you paint my vehicle, how long do I have to wait until I wash and wax?  We spray Spies Hecker waterborne paint inside a top-of-the-line Garmat spray booth.  Immediately after painting, your vehicle goes through a bake cycle to quickly dry your paint.  Once completed, your vehicle is ready for handling and reassembly.  The paint will still be going through a curing process, so we ask that you do not wash the painted areas for 30 days and don’t wax the painted areas for 2-3 months depending on the season (warmer weather will require less time for curing).  We encourage you to avoid drive-thru car washes that make contact with your vehicle to avoid scratching and hazing.  When washing your vehicle, remember to use clean water and materials such as non-scratching sponges and microfiber towels.