One of the responsibilities of working as a mechanic on repairing automobiles is that they need to create an estimate to send to their customers before they work on their vehicles. An estimate is helpful for customers to get an idea of how much they have to pay for the repair work of their vehicle. Car maintenance is costly and sending an estimate before doing the repair work helps the customer look for resources to finance the costs. If you don’t know how to estimate automobile repair, you’re in the right place. This article will guide you on how to create a repair estimate.
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What is an Estimate?
An estimate is a written document you provide to a customer that shows how much you expect to charge them for goods or services you’re going to supply to them.
How to Create a Repair Estimate
1. Include Both Parties’ Information
The first thing to do is to include the contact information for both parties involved in the repair estimate. Ensure that your company name is clearly stated on the cost estimate, where it is visible. You can put it on the top part of the estimate so your customer will recognize where it came from.
2. Include Your Business’s Logo
Just to make your estimate look professional and legitimate, include your business’s logo in your estimate. You can put it beside where you put your company’s name.
3. Create an Estimate Number
Create an estimated number for every estimate you send to customers. The number can be any order of numbers, letters, and/or symbols. The purpose of this is to let you track all job estimates that you have sent. Ensure that every estimate has a unique estimate number.
4. Add the Date
Include a date on every estimate. The date that you will put is when you create the estimate form. Having a date is important since sets the time frame for when your estimate will expire. It’s up to you when you will set the expiration date.
5. Calculate and Enter the Cost of Parts
To create an accurate estimate for any repair work you will do on a customer’s vehicle, you need to include the price for parts you anticipate that you will use. List each in your inventory with a specific number. In the estimate, write a short description of each part so they will know what they will pay for. Fill out the unit price and quantity. The unit price is the cost of each part; for example, it could be the cost of one fuel pump, the cost of one battery, etc. The quantity refers to the number of each part the job requires. For example, two rear tires need to be replaced on the customer’s vehicle. Don’t forget to note that this is just an estimate and it is likely to go through some changes when work begins.
6. Include the Cost of Your Labor
Aside from estimating the cost of the parts, labor is also an important key component to include in the estimate. To come up with the estimated amount, first, determine if you’re charging by the hour or you have an existing flat rate. For most jobs, especially complex ones, it’s advisable to charge customers by the hour. However, if the work can be easily done, you can set a flat rate. Don’t forget that if you charge by the hour, you will have to calculate your company’s hourly labor rate. Determine also which employee will be assigned to work on the customer’s vehicle and know their hourly rate. For your business to earn a profit, charge an additional percentage, around 15%, which is the profit margin on top of the rate. The total amount will be what you charge your customer by the hour.
7. Include Discounts and Special Offers if Applicable
It sometimes helps your business to occasionally offer discounts and other special offers to attract new customers and retain the existing ones. You can include this in the estimate if you offer discounts or coupons to your customers.
How much do mechanics make?
The rates that mechanics make vary on where they are located and what type of work have they done. The rates start at around $30 per hour.
What qualifications do I need to be a car mechanic?
If you want to become a car mechanic, you need to have the following skills:
- The ability to use, repair, and maintain vehicle machines and tools.
- Thorough and has keen attention to detail.
- Problem-solving skills.
- Work well with your hands.
- Customer service skills.
- Teamwork skills.
- Knowledge of engineering science and technology.
Before sending your estimate to the customer, don’t forget to add some additional information about the work being done to a customer’s vehicle that they should know. The additional note could be reminding the customer that you applied a discount to the estimate or you just want to include a thank you note to them for choosing your business. Make sure to double-check the contact information of the customer that you put in the estimate as well the information of their vehicle. You want to be sure that the estimate will arrive at the right customer. To help you get started making the repair estimate, download our free sample templates above to use as your guide!
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