If you're in a collision in your hometown, it's easy to find a good local auto body repair shop. If you don't already know of one, you can ask family and friends. When traveling away from home, it's often more difficult to find the best local shop because you don't know as many people in the community. You can still ensure you get great service when away from home, though, by going to a national auto body repair chain. Here's why.

National Chains Have Trained Technicians

When you go to a national auto body repair chain, you can trust that the person or people working on your car know what they're doing. Many national chains have robust formal training programs that their employees go through. Before employees take on any new kind of auto body repair work, national chains show them the company's specific way of doing the work and then make sure they understand the company's process. Lots of companies even have checklists that employees must follow when working on a car, to ensure they're doing the work according to the company's proscribed method.

Because technicians who work for national auto body repair chains are trained and expected to meet the company's standards, you know the work done on your care will be quality work when you bring it to a national chain.

Many local auto body repair centers do quality work, too. Without a reliable reference from a friend or family member, though, you don't know which local shop does the best work in the area. If you go to a national chain, however, you know that you can expect quality.

National Chains Have Prompt Service

In addition to providing quality work, many national auto body repair chains are also known for their prompt service. Chains often have lots of employees and multiple bays, so they're able to quickly get cars into the shop and start working on them. In contrast, a local shop might only have a few technicians and just a bay or two. A small local auto body repair place may not be able to get to your car until the one they're currently working on is finished -- and it could take some time for them to finish a car if it's badly damaged.

Other Locations Honor a National Chain's Warranties

Most important of all, all of a national auto body repair chain's locations will honor the chain's warranties. It's important to go to an auto body repair center that offers at least a one-year warranty. If you're traveling, it's also important to make sure you can get your car to a garage that will honor the warranty that your car's auto body work comes with.

Many local auto repair centers offer excellent warranties. If they're out of town, though, their warranty won't help you if something goes wrong with your car. It won't make sense to drive miles to the shop several months down the road just to have work done under warranty, and no local centers near you will honor another center's warranty. If something goes wrong, you'll have to pay out of pocket to have the work redone.

If you go to a national chain, though, you can just take your car to any of their locations if you need warranty-related work done. A chain's location in your hometown will honor the company's warranty, just as the original location that did the work will.

If you ever need auto body repair work done when you're out of town, look for a national chain. You'll be pleased with the job, and you'll be able to get warranty work done in your hometown.