Why SMART repair?

The SMART acronym stands for Small/Medium Area Repair Techniques. The concept was invented by the founders of ChipsAway in the USA in 1988 - previously all bodywork repairs had been carried out with traditional equipment and techniques and involved painting entire and adjoining panels even when the damage was small.

As the name suggests, the system began as an alternative to full resprays for chipped paint, and evolved from there into an entirely new discipline, related to but separate from body shop techniques, able to professionally repair all the everyday damage a vehicle is likely to acquire.

SMART repair is not suitable for repairing vehicles that have been involved in serious accidents; where there is structural damage to the vehicle, where panels need replacing due to corrosion or extensive damage, or when a vehicle requires a complete respray. These repairs will always require the facilities and techniques employed by a traditional body shop.

However for those repairs suitable for SMART techniques, they offer very significant advantages:

SMART Repair costs less

A full-service body shop is a business with very high overheads. It will need as a minimum a large commercial premises with associated rates, insurance and rent/mortgage. Heavy lifting gear, recovery truck(s), chassis-straightening jigs, welding equipment, car or van-sized ovens for baking paint and even blast-proof cabinets for storing the explosive charges for setting off airbags; all are required by the nature of the repairs they undertake.

A bodyshop offering repairs to major crash-damaged cars needs access to an estimating software system accepted by insurers, and the repair method manuals necessary to carry out mechanical, chassis and electrical repairs to vehicles of ever-increasing mechanical and electronic complexity. To train and qualify just one assessor to the relevant level in the most common estimating and repair method software packages costs over £2700 (plus re-certification costs), and the relevant software licenses cost hundreds of pounds per month.

The hazardous paint systems typically employed require enclosed environments and extensive protective equipment for technicians. As the majority of repairs require a vehicle to be on site for a week or more, a fleet of courtesy cars is needed for customers.

The traditional techniques of painting large areas to disguise a repair use much larger volumes of materials than the newer SMART techniques that use more precise colour matching and spray equipment to achieve professional repairs without painting the entire and adjoining panels.

A SMART repair operation, simply by not repairing vehicles after major accidents, can do without all these overheads, enabling very significant cost savings to be passed on to customers for the same repair.

SMART Repair means lower insurance costs

The majority of SMART repairs cost less than a typical insurance policy excess, meaning not only a cash saving to the vehicle owner, but also significant ongoing savings in avoiding the loss of any unprotected no-claims bonus, and also the premium loading that a claim history causes, even for customers who have protected their no-claims.

SMART Repair is more convenient

SMART repairs can be carried out in an uncontrolled environment. This enables a repairer to bring the repair to the customer, often on their driveway at home or in their car park at work. SMART repairs are usually completed same-day, avoiding the need for unsuitable courtesy cars or being without a vehicle for extended periods.

SMART Repair preserves the original finish

SMART Repair tools and techniques allow a skilled repairer to refinish a much smaller area than traditional body shop repairs. A traditional body shop repair disguises the fact that the vehicle has been repaired by painting out large areas: SMART repair preserves more of the vehicle's original finish, and instead relies on very precise colour matching, and replicating with great accuracy the original finish on the vehicle.

SMART Repair is greener

SMART Repairs cause massively less environmental VOC pollution and carbon emission than traditional body shop repairs, and have a much lower carbon footprint. The ChipsAway system has been independently assessed for its environmental impact and leads the world in providing an automotive repair method that minimises pollution and energy waste.