According to a recent report, you can expect to pay, on average, $367.84 for a typical car repair. Having your car taken care of by an experienced professional seems expensive, but the quality, expertise and peace of mind you'll get is worth the cost. Nevertheless, you're probably wondering what goes into your car repair bill.
Most mechanics charge by the hour for their services, usually $80 to $100 per hour – keep in mind that some shops charge more than others, depending on their equipment, expertise and a variety of other factors. If it takes your mechanic 4 hours to remove and replace a water pump and the hourly rate is $85, then you can expect to pay $340 in labor costs.
With a flat rate, the shop charges a set amount for the repair. This amount usually depends on how much "book time" is needed to make the repair, the tools required and actual amount of time your mechanic needs to make the repair. Even if the repair takes less time than the "book time" specified for that particular repair, you'll still have to pay the entire flat rate.
"Book time" refers to the average amount of time it should take for a relatively experienced mechanic to make the repair. A little leeway is given for less experienced techs, but most repairs should be completed within that time frame.
Don't forget that many shops also charge for diagnostics. According to AA1Car.com, you can expect to pay $75 to $100 for a diagnostic scan. However, it's not hard to find a repair shop that offers much lower prices for diagnostics and some shops even offer scans for free.
Parts and Supplies
The cost of parts and supplies also has a huge impact on your total repair bill. It's true that you may pay slightly more for parts sourced by your mechanic, but the additional cost usually goes toward any warranties the shop offers for its handiwork. Besides, you're also paying for the shop's ability to source the exact parts you need. That certainly beats fumbling through your local auto parts store.
The quality of the parts may also play a role in how much your shop charges. Many shops prefer to use Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts since they're not only an exact match for the parts your car needs, but they're also among the highest quality parts available. Some shops choose to use aftermarket parts in order to save money and deliver those savings back to you, the customer.
It's not just the cost of parts and labor that's included in your final bill. There are also other expenses that the average shop must handle to keep getting steady work: the cost of the equipment used to repair your vehicle, upkeep for state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and software, cleaning supplies, tools and even the shop's electricity bill. If you need a quality auto repair service, contact a professional business, Soundside Automotive, to for more information and an estimate.