The pricing lies in the fine print: How to make sure you’re being charged fairly
The extra expense that comes along with needing to get your vehicle repaired may be out of your budget, but when that time comes, there are ways to be sure you’re not being overcharged for the repair. Take these tips into consideration while researching the most accurate price range for the repair of your vehicle:
Ask for a written estimate: As most states require mechanics to give you a written estimate, make sure you receive one prior to getting your vehicle repaired. Once a written estimate is received, the shop is required to contact you if additional work is required, or if the estimate is going to be significantly more expensive. When a written estimate is received, you have the power to make sure the price doesn’t exceed a certain amount without consent.
Get a second opinion: Once you have found a trustworthy mechanic, stick with them. In the case that your mechanic informs you that you need a repair that is too expensive and ultimately becomes a financial hardship for you- seek a second opinion. Mechanics can often diagnose more than one problem from the same symptoms; therefore, it can’t hurt to get a second opinion before spending an excess amount of money. When the second opinion confirms the first, trust your original shop to get the work done.
Know the labor rate: On your estimate, you should receive an approximate number of labor hours that will be put into your vehicle, and how much that costs per hour. If your estimate appears to be high, ask the shop if the labor rate can be negotiable. Most shops base their rates on book time, even though the actual time doing the work could vary.
Ask for your parts back: As a way to verify that the parts used in your car are new, and installed notify the shop prior to your vehicle being worked on that you would prefer to receive the old parts back from your vehicle. Even if it’s a major, expensive repair; ask what the core values are for your vehicle, or to have a visual explanation of the work that was done.
Getting your vehicle repaired after a collision can be expensive. When you research and know the facts, you’re guaranteed to receive fair pricing for the repair of your vehicle.