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The Best Way to Get an Accurate Automotive Repair Estimate

The Law in Ontario says that, when repairing a vehicle, a written estimate for the repair work must be given. The estimate serves to inform car owners of the parts and labor likely needed to fix the vehicle properly. Since estimates and the process of planning auto repair work can be confusing, we want to take a moment to break down the estimating procedure and what it includes.

Auto repair costs are broken into three categories excluding the HST: 

  • Part costs: Not all parts cost the same—some parts are more expensive than others. Also, difficulty sourcing parts due to location or supply chain issues can affect the overall cost.
  • Labour: Labour costs vary depending on the type of car you drive, repair complexity, the vehicle's condition, and any additional, unforeseen problems.
  • Shop supplies/eco fees: Shop supplies charge covers many of the small items required for repairing vehicles, such as chemicals, cleaners and wipes. Eco fees are used to cover the expense of safely and responsibly disposing/ recycling such things as used oils, lubricants, batteries, tires, and filters.
  • HST: Do not forget about the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).

Even though we get a lot of emails and phone calls from customers requesting car repair quotes, we want you to know that, generally, it is not in your best interest for us to give you a quote without inspecting your vehicle first. The reasons why we avoid giving you a quote over the phone/email include the following:

Each Vehicle Is Unique

We want to give you a price that is accurate for your specific vehicle and its condition. The way you drive and treat your car will have a big impact on maintenance and repair costs. For that reason, we need to see your vehicle so we can determine the repairs needed. 

An Accurate Price

Our slogan is ‘Honest and Fair.’ We will never quote you a low price to get you in the door and raise it once you arrive. The actual costs of repair can only be accurately determined based on a detailed inspection of your vehicle.

Identification of the Problem

You may tell us what you think the issue is and ask for a price to fix that problem. However, there could be more than one things causing that problem. If we try to estimate a quote based on the issue identified by you, it may be inaccurate for what you actually need to get fixed to have a reliable vehicle. Or – we just love when it happens – we may find a more favourable solution to the problem that may have a different or even lower price point. Quick example: a customer requested replacement of the catalytic converter (very expensive). After inspecting the vehicle, a small crack was found in the exhaust system, which was the real reason for the problem. Just welding that crack fixed the problem! It was a real joy to see the customer’s happy face when we quickly fixed his car for a much lower price.

When Do-It-Yourself Repairs Go Wrong

Sometimes customers try to fix problems on their own and end up causing more damage because they lack the proper tools, training and skills. In such cases, we cannot give you even a rough quote over the phone based on your information. Our certified technicians will have to physically look at your car to identify the damage.

Inaccurate Quotes Make for Unhappy Customers

Customer satisfaction is what our business thrives on. If we try to give you a quote over the phone or email, a couple of things can happen: 

  1. We could significantly under-quote the job. Later, after the inspection of the vehicle, the price may increase which may upset you. We don’t want that!
  2. We could significantly overestimate the cost of repairs. Based on what you tell us over the phone, we may interpret it as something major and expensive when it may not be so. We don’t want that either! 

We know you are busy and it is not our intention to inconvenience you. We understand that you want your vehicle repaired at the lowest price with a quick phone call/email. But think of this as visiting a doctor. To determine a diagnosis and check for related complications, your doctor will start with performing a hands-on head-to-toe physical examination and try to figure out physical problems that could cause your symptoms. A mechanic does the same with your car. To provide you with an accurate estimate, he needs to perform a ‘physical assessment’, properly diagnose the problem and have a concrete idea of how long repairs will take and what specific parts need to be ordered. 

In conclusion, we want you to have 100% customer satisfaction. So, instead of trying to get a quote over the phone/email, bring your vehicle in and let us check it out. We will let you know exactly what the problem is and provide you with an accurate, real-value quote.