In these tough economic times, none of us want to pay more for auto repair than necessary. None of us wants to walk out of the shop holding an empty wallet! That being said, we’re still left with the question, how much should auto repair cost?
When you drive your car into an auto repair shop for some needed repairs, the cost of those repairs are determined by several factors. The make, model, and the year the vehicle was manufactured will be one of the first things that the mechanic will look at and has a significant affect on how much the repair will cost. Most of the time, European and foreign cars like Audi, Volkswagen, Mercedes, and BMW are more expensive to repair than domestic cars. The parts on foreign cars almost always cost more than domestic car parts,which raises the auto repair cost. Foreign cars and some domestic cars have engine designs that make their parts more difficult for your mechanic to access, this will also have an affect on the cost.
The type of auto repair needed will determine auto repair cost. If your car needs a new part rather than a repair on an existing one, than the cost of the new part will be factored into the price. Some repairs cost more because the replacement parts are more expensive.
Auto repair cost is also determined by labor rates. The average independent auto repair shop has a labor rate between $90-$130 per hour. If you take your vehicle to a dealership for repair, their labor rate will most likely be higher. Dealerships usually charge more than independent repair shops because they have higher overhead costs to cover. The labor charged is based on a standard “flat rate” and is usually the most expensive item on the bill. The labor time required to perform a certain task varies depending on accessibility of parts, the degree of difficulty of the job, and if special procedures or tools are required to complete the job. All these factors are taken into account by a vehicle manufacturer in order to determine and publish the flat rate tables for various repair jobs. Cars today are just as technical as a personal computer, and when they crash, they’re just as costly to repair. So use this information to look for a trustworthy shop that will give you honest advice, quality service and a fair price.