What does the labor charge cover on my automotive repair bill?

scratching head

With all the hidden fees everywhere you go lately, it can be a real challenge to keep track of where your money is going.  When it comes to having your car serviced, though, you’re probably familiar with the terms “parts” and “labor” on your receipt.  “Parts” naturally corresponds with the replacement parts used to repair your vehicle.  Labor, however, actually encompasses a bit more than just the cost of technician labor.  At Ward Automotive in Bel Air, Maryland it is our mission to keep our customers as informed as possible.  In keeping with that goal, let me break down what your money is paying for. 

Shop Overhead
Part of what the labor cost on your bill goes towards is the shop overhead.  This includes the mortgage or rent of the facility, as well as any utility bills, such as gas, electricity, and water.  Shop supplies are also included, such as nuts and bolts, technician uniforms, and cleaning chemicals.  Something you might not be aware of is that car repair shops must also pay a fee for removals of hazardous materials, such as used coolant, engine oil, and tires.  Another major area of the shop that overhead includes is the purchase and maintenance of shop tools, like car lifts, brake lathes, wheel balancing machines, wheel mounting machines, and alignment racks.  In order for us to service your car in the best way possible, we have to arm ourselves with the best equipment and keep them in good working condition. 

Okay, so it’s probably not a surprise that the labor line on your bill pays for a shop’s employees.  This includes the automotive technicians, as well as the entire staff, and their employee benefits.  Keep in mind that many factors determine the rate at which technicians are paid.  First of all, desirable techs must be well-trained, having graduated with a degree in automotive technology.  They must pay for tests every year and pass them in order to maintain ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certifications in all areas of car repair.  Also, most techs purchase all of their own tools and a tool box to hold them (and by box, I mean something much bigger and more expensive than you might be picturing—likely costing upwards of several thousand dollars).  Lastly, I should explain that most shops pay technicians a flat rate, which means that techs are paid by the job, rather than the time they spend working shop.  In order to be fair to our techs, who shoulder a lot of costs on their own, we try to accommodate them as best we can.

Ward Automotive is a complete car care shop offering everything from routine maintenance to serious automotive repair,  engine work, and even autobody work through our sister company Bel Air Autobody. Why not trust your car to the company who knows the proper repair procedures from autobody all the way to the mechanical?  Bel Air Autobody and Ward Automotive have been servicing the residents of Harford County, Maryland for over 20 years.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *