Garages have always received calls asking them to estimate how much service will cost. Understandably so, consumers want to know how much they will be spending and if they can get a better deal by calling a number of shops and comparing prices. But, just what’s all involved in making an estimate? There are three main categories: the labor rate, parts and supplies and overhead.
A repair shop will estimate the labor rate by inducing how long any given repair or service will take to complete. In addition, the estimated time it takes for a trained technician to complete a specific job as determined by each vehicle’s manufacturer is also taken into account.
It goes without saying that parts and supplies are needed when fixing a vehicle; hence they are also included in the estimate. There are two kinds of parts, OEM (refers to the parts made by the original car manufacturer) and the generally cheaper aftermarket parts which include parts for replacement, appearance, performance and collision. Supplies include things like disposal fees and replacement fluids.
Some examples of overhead costs include building lease/mortgage and utilities, diagnostic and scanning equipment, staff benefits and the constant mandatory technicians receive in order to keep up with technology.
Depending on what your car needs, there are a lot of variables involved in creating an estimate. Different shops may tell you different amounts but all of them will use the three factors mentioned above to come up with the estimate.