A recent study by the Automobile Association of America determined that one out of four people can’t pay for their vehicle’s major repairs, and worse yet, are even trying to cut down on costs by avoiding their regular maintenance altogether. For a four-wheeled machine that gets more than its fair share of use, avoiding your vehicle’s regular checkups can be a dangerous thing. So, what can you do to cut down on those pesky maintenance bills? Some people are starting to do minor repairs on their own.
Two major components bring in the most revenue for repair shops: Mark-up parts and hourly labor. A car repair shop gets discounted "wholesale" prices on their parts, but they turn around and sell them to their customer’s at retail price. Retail prices can vary, but in most cases, the repair shop isn’t hunting down for the cheapest retail prices to pass to their customers. Then there’s the hourly labor. The national average hourly rate for mechanics is $79. The hourly rate is even more disastrous with the repair shops flat rate billing. For example, if a customer is quoted four hours for a repair, that is what the customer will be charged, even if the repair takes three or five hours. We’re guessing that, most of the time, it takes less time than the customer was quoted.
This is where the money-saving kicks in. By eliminating the middle man for minor repairs, owners can start saving money and avoid expensive major repairs caused by lack of car maintenance. So, break out your tool belt and get to work; your wallet will thank you.
Find more helpful tidbits, as well as the monetary breakdown of some of the typical minor repairs, by checking out the rest of the infographic, and as always, remember to check back with us for the next installment in our Car Infographics series.