I scratch my head sometimes when receiving an estimate for work on my car, why you might wonder; well I am just in shock at the exorbitant cost of repair work to my old banger. Why does it cost so much to get my car fixed? This question is one I know many other motorists have queried from time to time, why is my car costing this much? This was a question I have now answered and would like to share with you.
Structure of repair quotes
Repair quotes for automobiles can be broken into 3 main sections:
1. Workforce cost, the going rate charged for the time spent repairing your car.
2. Material cost, the cost of the replacement parts needed to fix your car as well as any other materials needed to complete the repair work to your car.
3. Overhead cost, the garage or mechanic have an overhead such as the rent and rates on their property.
Understanding Workforce costs
Labour rates are often quoted by a combination of two elements the booked time plus the standard hourly rate. Booked time is essentially the time that it is expected to complete a task with a given degree of expertise, a more skilled mechanic will have a different metric to that of a trainee. Booked time creates a timeframe in which it is expected a job to be completed within. Hourly rates vary vastly geographically and depending upon the local population and competition, the scale for standard repair work averages from around $70 – $200 per hour – this includes both specialists and general mechanic garages, still this is a great fluctuation between both ends, where the higher average hourly rate is nearly 3 times that of the lowest average hourly rate.
Garages that are specialists within the automotive sector typically have a higher fee than general garages. Specialist garages tend to be ones which are endorsed by the manufacturer or only deal with complex issues a standard mechanics garage would not be able to undertake. It’s possible that the specialist garage will wind up being better value for money in the end, consider that they deal with these kinds of specialist repairs or types of vehicles on a day to day basis; this could mean that they are a more economical option. Choosing the specialist usually means that they have been tested in some way by the specialist body i.e. Ford would only certify a dealership or garage once that had certified in some way the experience and quality of the work being carried out on a day to day basis.