Hour Labor Rate Fair Price? - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums

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post #1 of 17 Old 01-16-2011, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Hour Labor Rate Fair Price?

I read in my local weekly an interview with a service repair shop. The owner interviewed for the article says the Labor rate at his shop is $100 an hour. The reason he said this, was getting the repair done right the first time. Is this a fair hourly rate, or could the guy be pulling something over his customers (his shop is highly rated and he has won awards and been recognized as well)? Thanks

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post #2 of 17 Old 01-16-2011, 09:03 PM
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I don't know too much about market prices, but that sounds about right. Is this a dealership or independent shop?? One thing to consider is costs of living and parts etc. So obviously service fees go up. Yes of course be on your guard about being ripped off.
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-16-2011, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ECHOKnight2000 View Post
I don't know too much about market prices, but that sounds about right. Is this a dealership or independent shop?? One thing to consider is costs of living and parts etc. So obviously service fees go up. Yes of course be on your guard about being ripped off.
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That's okay, Thanks. It is an independent shop
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-17-2011, 02:51 PM
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I think that's about the going rate at most dealerships. I learned in grad school a long time ago (and believe it to be true today) that a "fair" price is the labor rate paid to the employee times three (i.e. 3 times the employee salary). This is supposed to cover the labor and expenses related to the employee and business and yield a profit. With that said, a company can charge whatever the market will allow them to.
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-17-2011, 03:10 PM
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that's a smidge high for my area. my independent mechanic charges $80/hr.

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post #6 of 17 Old 01-17-2011, 03:45 PM
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100 bucks (per flat rate hour) is about the going rate here for a premium repair shop. One should also realize that book flat rate time has nothing to do with actual time spent on a vehicle. A tech gets paid 2 flat rate hours on a "2 hour" job whether it takes him 30 minutes or 4 hours. Some shops also charge a flat amount of time for diagnostics.

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post #7 of 17 Old 01-13-2016, 05:17 PM
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$75 per hour in my neck of the woods.
I tend to avoid stealerships since they're usually super expensive to begin with. I can buy my own coffee and donuts.
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-13-2016, 05:40 PM
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It will vary around the country, but usually it is posted or not a secret from the shop. Check other shops in the area and compare. Around Atlanta, I think it is typically $80-100 per hour, but in some parts of the country I know $100 per hour would be on the low side.

There is also:

Labor Rates per Hour:
$85
If you watch $95
If you ask questions $105
If you help $150
If you tried to fix it yourself and broke it before you brought it here ... $200

and

  • Low Prices
  • High Quality
  • Quick Completion
Choose any TWO !!!

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post #9 of 17 Old 01-13-2016, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Wow I forgot all about this thread.

jpissedoff, you're paying for the cost to do business at the dealer. When you see the car/dealer ads on tv who do you think pays for that? You guessed it, people who do business with the dealer. They also pass on to the customer, utilities, shipping, salary for employees, etc. Guess what, with cars becoming more complex, many repairs only a dealer can do.
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post #10 of 17 Old 01-13-2016, 06:57 PM
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We charge 110/hr at my dealer. The local Lexus dealer charges 138/hr I believe. BMW is at 145/hr

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post #11 of 17 Old 01-14-2016, 12:08 AM
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Good news...I spoke to the Sales Director and the Service Director at the dealership about the unreasonable invoice. They both agreed that the service technician was negligent for presenting me with an invoice for $240 for changing 4 spark plugs. In sum, they agreed to new spark plugs and wires for $134. I agreed to that offer. Listen, it wasn't about the money....it was about the dishonesty. We need to hold people accountable for their "bad" decisions and bring it to light so hopefully they will learn from their mistakes. I'm not sure if the guy thought because I am a girl I wouldn't know the difference nor question it. Well, news flash-it's a whole new world and I just took him down. :facepunch:?
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post #12 of 17 Old 01-14-2016, 01:24 PM
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Shop rates can vary, and so can how they apply it.

There are 2 ways time can be applied - book time and actual time.

Book time usually consists of a "decent" mechanic using hand tools to perform a job. This means for each car and specific work to be done/repaired, there is a time associated with how long it will take.

Actual time to complete consists of tracking how much time (and there's always padding/guessing) in terms of labor hours it took to complete the job.

Usually book time is WAY over actual time, but that isn't the case. Most shops/dealerships do use book time. When I worked at a shop we used book time.... especially when there were a lot of brake jobs, it wasn't uncommon for the shop to log 100 hours of work between 2 or 3 mechanics (we were open from 8am to 6pm).

I can tell you, a 94/95 V8 Camaro plug, wires, cap, and rotor book time is something like 8 hours and you're LUCKY if you get it done in that timeframe.

On the flip side, most mechanics will shy away from MR2's as they have a reputation for being difficult to work on due to tight working spaces. Fact of the matter is, pulling an engine in, for instance, a first gen MR2 is probably easier than 80% of the cars on the road.

My point is that sometimes seemingly easy or difficult work may not always be as easy/difficult as one would expect.

I never let anyone work on my cars. I would never pay anyone to work on my cars, but that's me. If I had to recommend a shop to someone - I would find one with a good/great reputation and charges by actual time, not book time.

The other secret is in the cost of parts. You can walk into Napa/Autozone/Oreillys (etc) and get spark plugs for say $20. The shop/dealership will charge you $30 for the parts. Their excuse is that in the event that the part fails, they have to buy them at their cost without reimbursement to uphold a warranty with their customers. In some ways that may be accurate, but not necessarily. Shops receive the same warranties that any other customer work (so if you buy a lifetime warranty waterpump, if a shop bought it and installed it, the parts store will actually get a replacement water pump to the shop for free). Yes, at that point the shop will most likely eat the labor cost. However, the little secret is that the shop isn't paying the same rate you are for the parts. In fact, many are paying easily 1/2 of what you pay when you walk into the parts store. (If you didn't know this.... notice that most parts stores, except napa, will have a separate desk/computer hidden a bit out of sight - that's for the commercial/vendor employees to use, and will usually have a separate phone numbers that shops will call to directly).
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post #13 of 17 Old 01-14-2016, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by toyotaspeed90 View Post
Shop rates can vary, and so can how they apply it.

There are 2 ways time can be applied - book time and actual time.

Book time usually consists of a "decent" mechanic using hand tools to perform a job. This means for each car and specific work to be done/repaired, there is a time associated with how long it will take.

Actual time to complete consists of tracking how much time (and there's always padding/guessing) in terms of labor hours it took to complete the job.

Usually book time is WAY over actual time, but that isn't the case. Most shops/dealerships do use book time. When I worked at a shop we used book time.... especially when there were a lot of brake jobs, it wasn't uncommon for the shop to log 100 hours of work between 2 or 3 mechanics (we were open from 8am to 6pm).

I can tell you, a 94/95 V8 Camaro plug, wires, cap, and rotor book time is something like 8 hours and you're LUCKY if you get it done in that timeframe.

On the flip side, most mechanics will shy away from MR2's as they have a reputation for being difficult to work on due to tight working spaces. Fact of the matter is, pulling an engine in, for instance, a first gen MR2 is probably easier than 80% of the cars on the road.

My point is that sometimes seemingly easy or difficult work may not always be as easy/difficult as one would expect.

I never let anyone work on my cars. I would never pay anyone to work on my cars, but that's me. If I had to recommend a shop to someone - I would find one with a good/great reputation and charges by actual time, not book time.

The other secret is in the cost of parts. You can walk into Napa/Autozone/Oreillys (etc) and get spark plugs for say $20. The shop/dealership will charge you $30 for the parts. Their excuse is that in the event that the part fails, they have to buy them at their cost without reimbursement to uphold a warranty with their customers. In some ways that may be accurate, but not necessarily. Shops receive the same warranties that any other customer work (so if you buy a lifetime warranty waterpump, if a shop bought it and installed it, the parts store will actually get a replacement water pump to the shop for free). Yes, at that point the shop will most likely eat the labor cost. However, the little secret is that the shop isn't paying the same rate you are for the parts. In fact, many are paying easily 1/2 of what you pay when you walk into the parts store. (If you didn't know this.... notice that most parts stores, except napa, will have a separate desk/computer hidden a bit out of sight - that's for the commercial/vendor employees to use, and will usually have a separate phone numbers that shops will call to directly).


In short it is all about the money, and dealers, mechanics getting as much as they can.

You can do most if not all work on your car, many can't (or won't) Car repair places know this and price their service accordingly.

One reason many repair shops "hate" Hondas and Toyotas. They can't make a lot of money off of them.
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post #14 of 17 Old 01-14-2016, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zythr View Post
In short it is all about the money, and dealers, mechanics getting as much as they can.

You can do most if not all work on your car, many can't (or won't) Car repair places know this and price their service accordingly.

One reason many repair shops "hate" Hondas and Toyotas. They can't make a lot of money off of them.
Depends on the work.

If a shop charged book time and all they did was rotors/pads for brake maintenance - it doesn't matter if they're working on a Honda or a Toyota, they're going to make a LOT of money.

Most shops, unless they can cut rotors, will require rotors to be replaced with pads.

So.... if the total bill for pads and rotors up front is $250 (installed), lets break it down:

They charge $60 a piece for rotors, and $80 for pads (that's $140), and $110 for labor (just over 1 hour of work).

A good mechanic can do that work in 30 min or less (put it on a lift, use an impact to pull the wheels, pull the calipers, pull the brackets... clean, then throw on the rotors, put in brackets, retract caliper, bolt caliper on, put wheels on... use torque sticks to put lugnuts back on).

The mechanic will get paid $15-20 for the job. Parts cost them 1/2 of what they charge, so about $70.

So of the $250 they charged, they're looking at under $100 in labor/parts cost. Granted there are costs to run a shop, but that's still about $300 an hour going to "the house" for that one mechanic/lift. A slower mechanic able to do 3 brake jobs every 2 hours, that's still $450 going to "the house"....

Yes, it is all about money, though...
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post #15 of 17 Old 01-15-2016, 11:55 AM
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$75-$100 seems the norm from what I have seen. You do have to keep your eyes open. Went to have some shops install TRD lowering springs and Hotchkis sway bars on my Scion xb, I provided the parts. 3 Shops quoted me book price of $800, 6 hours labor. From just crawling under my car, I knew the back would not take more than 30-45 min to do both sides. Ended up going to an alignment shop, the guy quoted me 2 hours work $175 total. Worked out fine, no creaks squeaks or thumps and the car goes straight with no hands on the wheel. Turns out the guy use to be a Toyota Mechanic. I may have found my new repair shop.

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