Twin Cities auto body shops see record number of cars needing repairs

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Some auto body shops in the Twin Cities are seeing record numbers of cars needing repairs following wintry driving conditions.

When the snow falls, the calls flood in.

“We’ve never been this busy ever since I’ve been here,” Nikki Hanson, Schnoover’s Bodyworks and Glass employee, said. 

Hanson has been at the front desk of Schnoover’s Bodyworks and Glass for 26 years. She’s heard and seen it all.

“Hit and runs. We see a lot of those now all the time,” Hanson said.

Mike Schoonover, Schnoover’s Bodyworks and Glass owner, explained he’s seeing an increase in people getting in accidents, which leads to a full garage of cars.

“Lately though with the way people have been driving, it doesn’t matter if it’s summer, fall, winter, or spring. We’ve been just very busy here,” Mike Schoonover, Schnoover’s Bodyworks and Glass owner, said.

He said the winter weather is also bringing in more customers in need of repairs.

When cars are so damaged they can’t be driven, the body shop tries to work those people into the schedule as soon as possible.

For those smaller repairs where the car can still run, the owner said it’s likely those drivers won’t get in until February or March of next year.

“If somebody is without wheels, we want to try to accommodate them as much as we can as soon as possible,” Schnoover said.

With a supply chain parts shortage still lingering coupled with an uptick in accidents, Schoonover said the shop will be playing catch up for a while.

“We’re talking two to three months of a backlog and I only anticipate that getting worse,” he said.

The owner urges drivers to make sure their car is ready for the winter by switching to winter tires and checking the car battery.

Schnoover also mentioned checking auto insurance to make sure rental car coverage is included so if an accident happens, the driver is not without a car.