Comparing Costs: The Dealership vs. Your Certified Auto Body Shop
After you have been in an accident or your car has suffered serious damage from some other incident, it is important that you get repairs made as quickly as possible so that your car remains safe to drive and retains its value. You have a couple of options for getting the repairs done properly: Taking your car to the dealership or to the certified auto body shop.
For many people, the choice comes down to the cost of each. Besides just looking at the final bill, it is also important that you understand exactly what goes into the cost.
Here’s a look at how your local car dealership will typically compare to a certified collision repair center in Chandler:
Typically, the cost of labor is going to be higher at a dealership. There are a number of reasons for this.
Right now, car dealerships across the country are experiencing a drop in their profits from new cars. Therefore, they are trying to make up those profits with their maintenance and repair services, for which sales are also at a low since cars are made better and are lasting longer. Many dealerships are raising the cost of labor to try to make up for some of these losses.
Many dealerships also specialize in a particular model vehicle, as do their service departments. They have to pay for their technicians to get specialized training to access proprietary information and to bill themselves as the experts for that car line. That all pads the cost of labor.
With an independent body shop, labor costs are often lower because the shop isn’t trying to make up for losses in other parts of the business. The technicians also have their own training and experience when they are hired, and they don’t have to pay to specialize in a particular model vehicle. The technicians still have the know-how to repair your vehicle and to provide top-quality work.
Calculating Labor Costs
In addition to labor costs generally being higher at a dealership, many dealerships also use a different system for calculating labor than independent shops do.
For each type of repair done, the dealership has a flat labor rate that it has determine to be appropriate. For example, if you need your side mirrors replaced, the dealership may estimate that the work should take two hours to complete. If the technician finishes in just one hour, you are still charged for two hours of work. The system is designed to reward technicians for efficiency. Even if the technician takes longer than two hours, you still only pay for two hours of labor.
The obvious downside to this system, aside from paying more for labor than may be necessary, is that the technician has an incentive to rush through the work. If the tech finishes early, he gets to pocket the amount charged and essentially get paid double for that extra time (assuming he immediately begins work on another job).
Many independent body shops also use a flat rate model, but instead of giving the technician the money charged, they pay a flat hourly wage or a salary. Whether the technician takes an hour or four hours for a two-hour job, he gets paid the same. Therefore, there is no incentive to rush through the work and potentially make mistakes.
Technology and Equipment
Typically, dealerships are qualified to repair the very newest vehicles, as well as to make some proprietary repairs. There are some things that you can have done for your vehicle only at the dealership.
That means that dealerships have to pay for advanced technology and equipment, and that can increase the cost of repairs.
Independent body shops have to pay for advanced technology and equipment, as well, but they don’t have to keep up with the latest models for which dealerships have proprietary rights to repair. That can help keep down the costs of repairs somewhat.
Whether you are looking at a dealership or an independent collision repair center, it is important that you find a auto body repair shop in Chandler that has the experience, technology and training to repair the make and model vehicle you drive and to do it well. You can find out more about a shop by looking up its credentials and reading local reviews.
Excel Collision and Glass Centers has a reputation as a top collision repair center in Arizona. We repair a wide variety of makes and models, and our goal is to make every vehicle look as good as new, no matter how bad the damage was to start. Our highly trained technicians know the latest techniques and use the latest technology to make the repairs. Visit our body shop today to get an estimate for your repair work or call us to learn more about our services.
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Mesa, AZ 85210
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Mesa, AZ 85206
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Apache Junction, AZ 85119
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