How much does a mechanic charge per hour?
Mechanic labor rates can confuse the best of us. While it seems like your final bill has been thrown together like a rushed art project, many factors influence the overall cost of mechanic’s rates.
This Article Contains
- How Much Does A Mechanic Charge Per Hour?
- 7 Factors That Affect What Mechanics Charge
- 4 Mechanic Shop Rate FAQs
Let’s dive right in.
How Much Does A Mechanic Charge Per Hour?
According to recent labor statistics, the average hourly rate for mechanic work in the US is between $75 and $130 per hour. However, if you’re looking for an exact number, it’s unfortunately not that simple.
Let’s check out the factors influencing a mechanics’ hourly labor rate.
7 Factors That Affect What Mechanics Charge
Here are the main factors influencing mechanic rates:
1. Repair Shop Location
A mechanic shop in a busy city center will have significantly higher rent costs, electricity bills, and other expenses like advertising. To cover these expenses, it’s likely that they will charge a higher hourly rate.
On the other hand, a smaller auto repair shop in the city outskirts has relatively less overhead expenses and demand, resulting in a lower car repair labor charge.
2. Type Of Auto Shop
Whether you use a dealership or independent shop plays a major role in influencing a mechanics’ hourly rate. Let’s cover both in detail.
When it comes to quality service, private dealerships are almost unmatched in the auto repair industry. Rightfully so, their labor charge reflects that luxury! That’s because dealerships run a tight ship with factory-trained mechanics, state-of-the-art tools, machinery, and OEM parts.
Dealerships tend to make their profit from both OEM parts and the labor rate since they have far more expenses than smaller workshops.
B. Independent shop
Using an independent repair shop (also called garages) is often seen as a gamble. While many out there provide dealership level service at reasonable prices, independent workshops are largely unregulated.
An independent auto shop can hire whomever they see fit, ranging from a certified technician to a self-taught wrench master.
But this isn’t always a bad thing!
A reputable independent garage can match the service level of a dealership at a fraction of the cost!
Independent dealerships need to order aftermarket parts for auto repair work at a premium.
These auto parts still need to be marked up to make a profit, and the markup range can often go up to 100%! Due to this, some independent workshops usually charge a car owner a lower labor rate but may upsell significantly on parts for profit.
An honest mechanic will typically add enough of a markup to auto parts to make a profit, without imposing it on the customer financially.
3. Specialization and Skill Level
If an experienced technician has perfected their craft for over 30 years, their rates will reflect their level of skill and certification.
However, an entry-level, less experienced technician with two years under their belt will likely charge a lower labor rate.
4. Towing Service
Whether you needed gas help or just had a flat tire, we’ve all called upon a tow truck service for roadside assistance at least once.
While not all auto repair shops offer a towing service, the ones that do may include the service in your final bill. The mechanic will need to include the cost of gas, maintenance, and of course, profit for the service.
5. Car Brand and Model
Parts for the latest 2022 Mercedes AMG will cost far more than parts for a humble 2004 Toyota Corolla. The level of work required to work on these two cars also couldn’t be further apart.
For example, clutch repairs on an old corolla will take far less time in labor to complete compared to a modern sports car.
6. Type of Repair or Maintenance
The type of auto repair and maintenance needed for your car can be broken down into two categories:
- Parts needed: Understandably, you’ll pay less for spark plugs than you would for an engine.
- Time needed: Depending on whether the auto repair shop works on per hour charges or flat rates, the time taken to complete a job will affect the overall charge.
For example, doing plumbing work on a car’s radiator can take quite a while to complete, when compared to repairing a punctured tire.
Wait, what’s a flat rate?
We thought you’d never ask!
7. Flat Rate VS. Per Hour Rate
Mechanics work on two different measurements for pay — flat rate and per hour rates. Most dealerships work on per hour rates, while an independent garage often uses flat rates.
Let’s go over each in more detail:
- Flat rates: A flat rate is when an auto mechanic is paid a fixed fee for completing a specific job. For example, if brake pads need to be replaced, the mechanic could be paid a $200 flat rate — regardless of whether it took 10 minutes or 4 hours to complete the job.
Brake troubles got you down? Check out RepairSmith’s mobile brake repair services.
- Per hour rates: Per hour rate is the standard hourly wage a mechanic is paid, regardless of the time taken to complete a job — or the type of job. This kind of rate could very much affect your final bill for a complicated, time-consuming task like a head gasket repair, for example.
If you’re curious, the estimated labor cost for a head gasket repair falls around a whopping $909-$1147, with the parts varying between $715-$832!
Also, keep in mind that whether it’s a flat rate or per hour rate, it’ll vary from repair shop to repair shop.
Now, let’s answer some common mechanic rate questions.
4 Mechanic Shop Rate FAQs
Here are the answers to four common mechanic rate questions.
1. Should Labor Cost More Than Parts?
In most cases, yes — the labor rate is often more than parts. The knowledge and skill required to install parts often outweigh the average cost of the parts themselves.
General automotive parts like brake pads are inexpensive. However, installing them takes time and requires extensive knowledge to execute correctly.
Parts become more expensive when you get a major auto repair done on your vehicle, like a new transmission or engine. Another way to easily push up the average cost of parts is by purchasing aftermarket parts, such as exhaust systems.
2. How Can I Avoid Getting Overcharged?
Here are some simple ways a car owner can stay ahead of dishonesty:
- Use a referred mechanic: Having a friend or family member recommend a trusted mechanic is a sure way to get honest service.
- Learn the basics of auto mechanics: This doesn’t mean you need to fix cars yourself, only to learn what basic parts cost — like brake pads and oil filters. This will prevent mechanics from trying to sell you “premium air” during your next tire change.
Read more on this related article to find the right oil filter for your car.
- Ask for an up-front price estimate: It’s never a good idea to just drop off your car at an auto technician and give them free rein over your car repair.
Instead, ask the technician to evaluate the car while you’re there, and give you a written estimate on the spot. This way, you’ll know what repair to expect, and leaves little room for surprises down the line.
3. What Is A Mechanics Average Hourly Wage?
According to the latest labor statistics, the average hourly wage for an auto technician is $22.54, or a salary of $46,880 per year. This is very similar to the labor hour salary in the plumbing industry.
These statistics do vary on whether or not the auto shop uses flat rates, or pays a salary based on an hourly labor rate.
4. Is A Mobile Mechanic Service More Affordable?
Since mobile mechanic companies have fewer overhead expenses, their overall rates are usually cheaper.
Some mobile mechanics may be limited to simpler repairs. However, there are many mobile repair services that can perform more intricate repair work when required.
A bonus with using mobile repair services is that they can often perform their services anywhere, meaning you can get back on the road without having to use a tow truck service.
Overall, mobile mechanic services are around 30% less expensive than a repair shop.
Getting The Best Mechanic Service Possible
To get the best mechanic rate and service, you should always use a well-rated auto mechanic. Some repair garages offer fast and affordable car repair, while others provide ‘high cost – high reward’ service.
So is there a way to get both affordable, and high-quality service?
Here’s why you should hire us:
- Auto repair and services can be made right in your driveway
- Expert mechanics execute vehicle inspection and servicing
- Online booking is convenient and easy
- Competitive, upfront pricing
- All maintenance and fixes are conducted with high-quality tools and replacement parts
- RepairSmith offers a 12-month | 12,000-mile warranty for all repairs
Get in touch with our dedicated team for an accurate estimate of the cost of your auto repair and maintenance.