Time & Labor Guide for Garages

Updated February 21, 2017

Auto repair guides dictate a common price for mechanics to protect customers from paying too much. However, each shop varies in how much they charge for labour, especially as technology improves and repairs become more complex.


Most auto repair shops use one of three guides for charges: Chilton's, AllData and Mitchell. However, these guides need to be constantly updated as new cars come out featuring different technology.


When customers pay for labour in an auto shop, they pay for the parts needed plus the hourly rate charged by the mechanic. This hourly rate helps pay the mechanic's wage, any tools the shop needs and the overhead to keep the shop running.


Labor guides vary depending on where you live. If you are in a part of the country that gets a lot of snow, the sand and salt on the roads corrode your car. Working with rust is difficult for mechanics and costs more money than cars in drier, warmer climates.

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About the Author

David Harris is a writer living in Portland, Ore. He currently is the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Spectrum Culture. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College.