Following are some tips on negotiating auto repair estimates and also the factors to be considered while preparing the same.
Auto repair costs form an important part of the annual budget planning of many people. And why not, auto repair costs can go too high depending on the amount of repair pending and servicing lined up. However, before deciding a rough cost of the auto repair, it is necessary that you prepare an auto repair estimate yourself, which will help you figure out the nearest approximate cost of the entire work. Once you prepare the estimate, you will be able to manage your financial resources accordingly.
Most of the people (especially beginners), find it difficult to chalk out the repair estimates of their vehicle. This happens due to a couple of reasons. Either they do not know what factors to consider while designing the estimate, or they do not know how to negotiate for them. In some cases, both the reasons are applicable. For such people, here are the factors to be considered while making an auto repair estimate and the negotiating technique for the same.
Factors to be Considered While Preparing Auto Repair Estimates
- Auto Parts: This is an important factor. Your vehicle repair might include replacement of certain damaged parts. You have two alternatives for this; either use original equipment manufacturer parts or go for parts that are not made by the manufacturer. You may find the cost of the original parts a bit high, but at least these come with a guarantee of serving your vehicle for a long time. Parts not made by the manufacturer might be less expensive, however, there is no guarantee for them and they might get damaged within some time.
- Flat or Fixed Charges: The mechanics charge a fix amount for certain repairs. These charges would not include the labor costs and the purchase cost. The charge would be flat and you’ll have to pay it.
- Local Labor Costs: Labor costs depend upon the location and the mechanic. These include the time taken by the mechanic to repair the vehicle/part. The more the time required, the more are the costs. Most of the time, hourly charges are quoted by the mechanic. However, if they aren’t, inquire about the same. Estimate the time required and therefore the price required for the repair of your entire vehicle.
- Other Charges: Apart from the above mentioned factors, there are many other charges involved in the auto repair. Some of these include the waste disposal charges, the purchase price of new parts, servicing charges, etc. Be sure to inquire about these costs and include them in your calculations.
Negotiation Tips for Auto Repair Estimates
Be it the auto body repair estimates, brake repair estimates, or estimates of repairing any other vehicle parts, you need to negotiate the repair cost with the mechanic and find out an approximate one. The following tips would prove useful in this regard.
- Find out the cost of original equipment from the manufacturer, other inclusive charges, labor charges, flat costs, etc., before handing over your vehicle to the mechanic.
- The mechanic would ask you some questions regarding the vehicle’s performance, vehicle’s condition, last date of auto repair, etc. Answer all of them carefully. However, do not provide any voluntary information regarding the vehicle. Do not specify who uses it, what you will be doing once the vehicle gets repaired, etc. Some people are least concerned about what is happening to their vehicle; they are ready to pay for everything and hand over the vehicle blindly to the mechanic. Do not do this! You might end up paying much more than what was estimated.
- Do not yourself ask any questions to the mechanic regarding the replacement of parts or alike. The mechanics could smell confusion out of such questions and then they would advise you to replace parts that neither need a repair, nor a replacement. These would heavily add up to your auto repair costs.
- Some parts of the vehicle serve for a long time and therefore they do not need an immediate repair or replacement. In such cases, if you are confident enough, inquire about the postponement of the repair or replacement of those parts. This technique would help you save a lot of money.
Another effective technique of reducing auto repair costs is to discuss the repair cost with different mechanics and then prepare the estimate by considering the lowest mechanic repair estimates. This would not only help you to save money, but would also help you to find a mechanic rendering better services.