Avoiding Unexpected Auto Repair Prices
Have you ever received the bill for a car repair, only to be blindsided by unexpected auto repair prices? In some cases, these hidden fees may be the result of unscrupulous pricing strategies employed by the repair shop. However, more than likely the confusion in price is the result of insufficient research on the driver’s part prior to dropping the car off to be repaired. To avoid such hassles, keep these things in mind to minimize the potential for unexpected auto repair prices:
Get a Written Estimate
The best way to reduce the possibility for inflated pricing is by getting an estimate in writing beforehand. This estimate should be comprehensive, and itemize all parts and labor costs that go into the total bill. Upon receiving the estimate, it is recommended you review each item so that you are fully aware of how the entire bill adds up. Once the repair is complete, you can compare the total actual cost to the initial estimate. If you find any discrepancies in pricing, then the evidence of the estimate may help clear up any mistakes or unjustified fees incorporated by the auto mechanic.
It is important to remember that an auto repair estimate is just that: an estimate. Once the mechanic gets under the hood of your car, he or she may legitimately find additional necessary repairs. If such is the case, the price of your repair is likely to increase. However, in order to avoid any unexpected fees once it’s time to pay, you should request that no additional repair work be done on your vehicle unless it is personally authorized by you. This will require the auto shop to call you if additional damage is found so that they can provide a revised quote on the total cost of all recommended repairs.
Before committing to an estimate, you may want ask whether or not the auto shop charges an inspection fee. Then, when reviewing the price estimate, it is important to ask questions about any auto repair prices that may be missing. For example, are there any parts disposal fees required with the job and, if so, are they included in the estimate? Are all applicable taxes incorporated into the estimate? If not, how much can you expect them to be? Finally, you’ll also want to be clear on all potential labor fees. For example, does the shop charge a flat rate in addition to the hourly labor rate?