How Much Does a Mechanic Charge Per Hour?
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Getting the bill for a car repair is something everyone dreads. It usually comes with a high price, especially if the work is required. Auto repair labor rates are also rising due to the high cost of repairs. But how much does a mechanic charge per hour?
The average cost of car repair varies significantly across different regions. They range from $45 to $170 per hour. If you live in an urban area, drive a specialty vehicle, or need help from a dealership, you can expect to pay more.
Even though you can try to find a lower labor rate, you must use a skilled mechanic. This ensures that the technician has the necessary skills and experience to handle your vehicle.
But it’s worth noting that many factors will affect the cost of a car repair, and we will look at those in this article.
Table of Contents
- Hourly Rate for Mechanics
- The Highest Paid Jobs in Mechanical Maintenance
- Are You Paying Too Much for Auto Repair?
- How Is the Labor Rate Determined?
- Best Car Deals by Category
Hourly Rate for Mechanics
Several factors influence the amount that mechanics charge per hour. They include the following:
The region where you live has a significant impact on the labor costs that you'll pay.
For instance, if you live in a rural area, you'll likely pay less than the average mechanic in the city.
In contrast, car repair costs can be lower outside the city due to the lower rent and mortgage payments.
This allows the shop to maintain its prices and not pay as much rent or mortgage.
2. Type of Shop
The type of work that you need to do will also affect the labor costs that you'll pay.
For instance, if you need an oil change, you can usually get a local shop to do it for minimal money.
On the other hand, if you need transmission or engine repairs, you should go to a specialist.
You may also want to visit a certified mechanic, as these establishments can offer special recognition for working on certain brands.
However, these shops are typically more expensive than average establishments.
Dealerships are typically higher priced than independent shops, but their technicians are certified and can hold a certain standard.
Unfortunately, some brands suggest higher prices, so there's little difference between the rates at dealerships in town and those outside of town.
One of the essential advantages of a dealership is that it has a service history that includes the work performed on the vehicle.
This ensures that buyers can trust that the work was performed correctly. Also, a warranty is typically offered by the dealership.
3. Skill Level
The level of skill that the technicians have when it comes to working on your vehicle is also essential to consider when choosing a mechanic.
If unsatisfied with the entry-level mechanics' work, you can save a lot of money by hiring a skilled mechanic.
You might also want to consider hiring a technician with a better understanding of your vehicle. Also, a shop with the latest equipment can provide you with a better experience.
4. Vehicle Make/Model
The type of vehicle that you drive also affects the price. For instance, if you have a run-of-the-mill Toyota car, you know that most mechanics are familiar with its operations, but if you have a newer model, such as a Volkswagen or a Land Rover, you need an expert on your side.
If your vehicle is a run-of-the-mill model, you can expect to pay more for repairs even though it's comparable to work performed on a brand-name car.
In most cases, the additional training the technicians need to complete their work can make it more challenging to get to the parts.
Even if the part you need is relatively easy to replace on the Chevrolet Suburban, it can be hard to get to the Land Rover Range Rover. In addition, the added time could double the cost even with the same labor rate.
You'll typically pay a higher price if you're looking for a shop specializing in certain car brands. However, since this type of facility only works on specific models, you can expect to get the job done correctly and efficiently.
The Highest Paid Jobs in Mechanical Maintenance
Mechanical maintenance workers are responsible for performing various tasks related to repairing and maintaining multiple types of mechanical equipment.
The most common type of work is that of a car mechanic. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this type of job earned an average of about $42,000 in 2019.
1. Diesel Mechanics
The BLS also noted that mechanics who maintain the engines of commercial vehicles, such as construction vehicles and buses, earned an average annual wage of around $48,500 in 2019.
In addition, although some companies pay more for diesel mechanics, some federal government agencies also pay them well.
For instance, the average annual wage diesel mechanics receive from the natural gas distribution industry is around $87,730.
2. HVAC Mechanics
HVAC mechanics are responsible for maintaining and repairing air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration equipment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this type of job earned an average of about $50,730 in 2019.
The highest-paid HVAC mechanics are those working for civil engineering firms, who typically receive an annual salary of $85,940.
3. Heavy Equipment Mechanics
Mobile heavy equipment mechanics are responsible for performing various tasks related to the maintenance and repair of heavy construction equipment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this type of job earned an average of about $53,370 in 2019.
The highest-paid heavy equipment mechanics are those working for aerospace companies and electric power distribution firms.
4. Industrial Machinery Mechanics
Industrial machinery mechanics are responsible for maintaining and repairing various types of industrial equipment, such as industrial processing plants and pipelines that carry natural gas and oil.
The highest-paying industries for industrial machinery mechanics include natural gas and electric power generation. On average, they earn $53,590, the highest being $74,550 per annum.
5. Aircraft Mechanic Salary
The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that aircraft mechanics are the most highly paid mechanic. In 2019, aircraft mechanics earned an average of about $64,000 annually.
Some of the high-paying jobs that aircraft mechanics could secure were those in express delivery services, such as Federal Express and UPS. The highest was a whopping $94,790 per annum.
Are You Paying Too Much for Auto Repair?
When you see the different labor rates for other jobs, it can be hard to determine if you're paying too much. However, it's also possible that the high cost is due to some of the factors that we discussed.
Many places provide low-cost auto repair services. Although it's hard to beat the prices at the local stores for certain services, some of these options can still be very costly down the road.
One of the essential factors that you should consider when it comes to choosing a repair shop is the inexperienced and fresh technicians. It's also possible that these establishments may be charging you more than you expected.
For instance, if you're getting an oil change at a cheap rate, what else are they trying to sell you? You might spend more than you would at a dealership if you're also charged for extras such as oil filters.
You're probably getting ripped off if you get an oil change every 3,000 miles. While some cars can still require this service, most of the time, it's not necessary. Most establishments will be straightforward about pricing and display the labor costs on their wall.
However, you have the right to ask for a second opinion, which is why visiting a reputable shop is essential.
How Is the Labor Rate Determined?
In the US, most establishments charge a flat fee, which is determined by a database that includes an estimate of the labor rate. The manufacturer or an aftermarket publisher, such as Motors or Chilton, usually chooses this.
The estimated time is computed by considering the car model and year and then multiplying this by the shop's hourly rate.
It's important to note that this method might not apply to every project. For instance, if the work was completed in less than the estimated time, the repair shop might still charge you based on the flat rate table.
For instance, if the work was completed in less than the estimated time, the repair shop might still charge you based on the flat rate table.
However, this method is legal. For instance, if a more experienced technician completes a project in two hours, they might charge for three hours. The various factors that a repair shop uses to determine its labor rate include its location, experience, mortgage, and tools.
On average, the hourly rate is around $75 to $130, with dealerships typically charging higher prices.