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  • Writer's pictureTom Hunt


Updated: Mar 29, 2022

How do YOU price your work?

That's too cheap. You're expensive. I would charge XYZ for that.

Autobody repairers have always debated on what we should all be charging for a particular repair.

And the same old disagreements erupt into a hot mess about how the motor trade is being destroyed by those who charge too little, or by those who are a "rip-off".

But, who is right?

Let's look into what affects the cost of the repair.

Reason #1 Business overheads are different for EVERYBODY.

What it COSTS one repairer is not necessarily the same it costs another to repair the exact same vehicle.

The more outgoings a business has per month, the more it has to charge per hour to pay for those overheads.

Whether you are mobile or workshop based is one factor, but number of employees, premises size, utility costs, tooling and equipment are just some of the factors that affect the monthly expenses, which then are passed onto the customer in the repair cost, usually factored into the labour rate.

If you want to know how to set your labour rate - check out the support section on our website.

Reason #2 Business Location.

Here's an example:

You would need around £3,046.54 a month to live in Aberdeen and £4,800.00 a month in London to have the same standard of living.*

That's an extra £1753.46! Just to live in a different location.

The cost of living is different up and down the globe, let alone the county you live in.

Don't get too caught up on what others are pricing where they live.

Pricing is relative to where you are based.

*Source -

Reason #3 Scale.

Bigger Auto body shops not only have bigger overheads but they usually require more administration work, bigger IT infrastructure, office phones, computers, more parking spaces, bigger insurance policies, the list goes on and on. These things don't always make the money but they are necessary to have.

They aren't cheap and the cost is again factored into the repair.

Does this mean the repair will be of better quality?

Not necessarily, big body shops can produce poor work and small ones can too, however it wouldn't make much sense to invest so heavily to then throw it all away with poor quality repairs.

Reason #4 The time it takes an individual to do the repair.

What takes me 2 hours, may take somebody 3 hours and vice versa.

But one thing is certain.

If I personally spend 2 hours on a vehicle repair, I need to get paid for those 2 hours as I only have 9 working hours a day.

So regardless of whether it takes someone 2 hours or 3 hours, the fact is you still need to get paid for the time YOU have spent repairing the vehicle.

Hence why it's important to have your labour rate set at a price you know you're making a profit on.

Reason #5 Quality of the products.

A universal principle is you get what you pay for.

The same applies to body repairs.

Ultimately with body repairs, when more time is taken with the preparation, better products are used and the paint is a more expensive brand, it will cost more to do the repair.

Does that mean cheaper products mean an inferior repair?

Not always...

All body repairers use different products and providing the cheaper products are from a reputable company and they work for both the customer and the repairer, then it doesn't mean the other repairer is "too cheap".


Only you can know what you need to charge to run a long and successful business.

Do you want to price jobs with confidence and know once and for all, the price is the price, and that it's relative to YOUR business?

Download our free "how to set up my rates" guide on our website in the support section to start estimating smarter, instead of working harder.


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