Know How Labor Charges Are Calculated

There is a uniform way that auto repair shops use to figure out what to charge you for work done to repair your car. Repair facilities use a standardized table, the Mitchell Standardized Labor Rates Table, for fee calculations. Keep reading to learn how labor charges are calculated whether for your own use as a shop owner or in order to help you budget your own upcoming car repairs.

There is more to it than just figuring out how long a job took to complete. You may think that every specific detail of a vehicle’s repair and maintenance must be taken into account to arrive at a definite time of job completion. That’s not the case here. When mechanics work on your car they don’t look at the clock for each single minute. Auto repair shops utilize a listing matching the type of repair work needed with an estimate of how long it should take to complete the work. So whether your mechanic is extra efficient or new on the job, they will still charge the same number of hours for labor on your car.

The Mitchell table. Know what the Mitchell table means. With Mitchell Standardized Labor Rates Table you discover on average, how long it will take a mechanic to complete any and all repairs on every make and model of vehicle. There is an online directory to arrive at this standardized rate, or they can look at a labor rate chart. As an example, take a brake replacement job on a 2000 Camaro, the flat rate is 2.6 hours of work no matter where the business is located or who works on it.

So how do shops make a profit? The Mitchell table gives average times for job completion but it does not account for all circumstances. If mechanics are fast, a Camaro brake job probably won’t take 2.6 hours. If the job is done quicker, the customer will still get charged for 2.6 hours of labor, but the shop makes the extra money. Think of it this way, a mechanic could woark an 18-hour day in just 8 hours, if efficient. This is where is can be really lucrative.

The other side of the coin. Think about this though – the new kid does the brakes on the Camaro, and it takes him four hours, but it doesn’t matter because the shop can still only charge us 2.6 hours worth of labor, according to the Mitchell table.

Charges will still worked out differently, even with a standard labor chart. Generally customers appreciate this approach to pricing car repairs, but can be surprised at the difference in repair bills for exactly the same labor at different auto shops. This is where the labor rates at each specific shop differ. It may be $85 an hour for labor in one auto shop and $55 an hour at another. For a Camaro brake repair, the cost will be hugely different for the same labor time – $221 versus $143. this makes a big difference in the overall price for vehicle repairs, even when the labor charges are calculated in the same way (using the standard Mitchell table).

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