If you call or take your vehicle to a repair shop for an estimate, you may stop and ask yourself, "Why does this repair cost so much?". The answer is, there are a lot of reasons. First, they are a business. They have to charge enough to be able to stay in business so that they can continue to service your vehicle. We all know the simple truth. A business is in business to make money. This is not to say however that they are trying to rip you off. The rates that a repair shop charges covers a lot of things that most people do not realize. For example, they have to pay for the building that they are in, and the equipment that they use, (everything from lifts, to diagnostic scanners, to oil and antifreeze). They also have to have their business insured. This covers everything from fire to natural disasters. The minimums for insurances for these types of businesses are usually at least $1million. They have to have this much coverage to be able to replace the building, the mechanics tools and toolboxes, plus any vehicles that may be inside the shop at the time. You are also of course paying the salary of the mechanics at the shop. After all, without them, the repair shop wouldn't exist.

It does pay to do some research when choosing a repair shop to work on your vehicle. The labor rates that they charge are not always the same. You may find some shops that charge $65 per hour, and others that charge up to $90 per hour. When doing a 6 hour repair, this could save you up to $150. As you can see, it is in your best interest to ask around. Also, don't think that just because a shop is charging less per hour that they are any less qualified. It is the same concept that gas stations use. If you have ever noticed to gas stations across the street from each other, you will probably see that one is a few cents cheaper per gallon than the other. Even though they make less money per sale, they will get three times the business as the other more expensive gas station. So even though they are charging less, they are getting more business, and therefore more money. Don't forget to ask what a shop's diagnostic rates are. Most shops charge different rates for diagnostics and repairs. If your car has a problem that will need to be diagnosed extensively, it will benefit you to shop around for cheaper diagnostic rates. You are also paying for the knowledge of the mechanics. This is something that a lot of people do not realize. I have heard of cases when someone brings their car to a shop because it is running rough. The mechanic takes out his hammer, hits the EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) valve, and then charges the customer $40. This of course infuriates the customer who says, "All you did was hit that thing with a hammer. How can you charge me $40 for hitting something with a hammer?". The mechanic then replies that he is not charging the customer for hitting the EGR valve with a hammer, he is charging for knowing to hit the EGR valve to make the car run properly. As you can see, knowledge goes a long way in repairing your vehicle. There are many, many things that your dollar pays for. They are all necessary and worth it. Just be sure to check around to make sure that you are getting the best value for your money.