Rates at an Auto Repair Shop

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 25,916
    Automotive Expert Tony Molla discusses rates at an auto repair shop.

    Tony Molla: Hi, I am Tony Molla from ASE and we are continuing our look at how to find the good repair shop. In this segment, we are going to talking about rates, how do shop set their prices? Well, shops like any other business usually set their prices in parts markups based on their cost of doing business, factoring in a reasonable profit. Other factors come into bare, for example what competitors in the area maybe charging, that will affect what a shops labor rate is. Many shops also set what they call Menu Pricing. For example, they will have a package of services available for a fixed price, that won't have any affect on how many hours it takes to do that job. When you are talking about a specific repair process, usually you will get an estimate based on the amount of time it takes a technician to do the job, multiplied by the hourly rate the shop charges. There is also a markup on parts. This could be anywhere from 10% to 15% to 20% depending on what the shops cost of doing business is, again plus the reasonable profit. When it comes to diagnostic charges, many shops will charge a fixed price for the first hour of diagnostic time, that's why it's important to make sure that you will explain in as much detail as possible what your problem is to help keep those cost low. It's also okay if you get a large estimate for a repair to get a second opinion, don't be afraid to go elsewhere and compare prices with the repair shop, to make sure that you are getting the best value for your service dollar. Again it's okay to ask questions, you should to make sure that you know precisely what it is you paying for and exactly what is being charged for when you have your car serviced. A shop will provide a written estimate of the work that's about to be done for you to review before you sign anything. This should give you a total cost of parts and labor based on whatever repair you are having done. When it comes to maintenance services, again there are menu prices available but if you need an estimate for a larger maintenance service, say 30,000 or 40,000 miles service, you might want to get a written estimate, just so you are sure that you know what you are paying for before you leave the car for service. Among the many things that can affect the cost of repair, the types of parts that you want to use. Most shops will give you choice of using a brand new part and after market part which maybe of equal quality or a reconditioned re-manufactured or salvage part. The different types of parts are used in different types of vehicles, for example, if you have a brand new vehicle or a fairly new vehicle, you might want to consider using new parts or a quality after market replacement part. If you want an older vehicle and economics are a consideration, you might want to consider re-manufactured or salvage parts. Finally another important tip is to save those service receipts, that's what clove boxes are for, they give you record of what repair work was being done, a record of the maintenance that you have done with the vehicle and it will also help in things like resale where you can show the vehicle has being properly maintained, it gives a great record to show, should you decide the trade the vehicle in or sale it to a private owner. Again save those receipts they are important. In our next segment we will give you some tips on how to communicate for better automotive service, it's all and what you say at the service desk.