With the recent trend toward super-high fuel efficiency and ultra-low emissions, aluminum cars and trucks are becoming more and more popular. However, one downside to this eco-friendly material is the increased repair cost associated with the lightweight metal. In order to save the planet and your wallet, here are three ways to cut down on repair costs for your aluminum vehicle. 

Go to the Dealer

A major cause of the markup on fixing aluminum is the fact that the majority of body shops simply don't have the equipment or the training to fix these types of vehicles. Dealerships, on the other hand, either fix in-house or can recommend you to a body shop that is trained in fixing aluminum-body cars. This will not only cut down on the time it takes to fix the issue, but also get the job done right, and often for less, than a body shop that tries to fix aluminum the same way it fixes steel-body cars. 

Pop Rivets are Your Friend

Some very popular models of aluminum cars and trucks were designed with repair costs in mind, and these design features can make repairs much easier and cheaper if you know what to look for. A common way to repair larger issues is to simply replace the whole panel using pop rivets. This low-cost, low-maintenance repair option is perfect if you're only dealing with one panel on the car or truck, and the damage cannot be undone by simple heating. Asking your mechanic about this option can save you a boatload in repair costs, especially if they don't specialize in aluminum repairs. 

Do Your Homework

This tip goes in line with the first, because if you choose a reputable shop with experience in dealing with aluminum, you won't have any issues with the repair process. However, if you're not in an area with one of these specialty shops, it's important to make sure that the right materials are involved in your repair. This includes making sure that the body shop uses aluminum-compatible adhesives and aluminum rivets that are appropriate to the car itself. Using anything short of these materials will inevitably result in higher repair costs down the road, even if the immediate repair costs are bumped up a little bit. 

Don't let a body shop train for free on your aluminum car when it's damaged. Instead, going to a reputable or recommended body shop to work on your aluminum car or truck will cut down on costs and make sure the repair is perfect. Even if you can't get to a specialty body shop like one of these, you can still ensure that the right repair options are being considered and the right materials are being used. 

For more information, contact Exoticar Paintworks Inc. or a similar company.