Why is it so expensive to fix my luxury German car?
Why is everything so expensive these days? I ask myself the same question every time I walk out of Whole Foods or any other retailer.
After I started analyzing the factors, I can tell you that prices are determined by costs plus overhead, and the cost of doing business goes up every year, especially in the Bay Area. For example, a house that cost $150,000 twenty years ago now costs over a million. In the same way, businesses are paying more to be here too.
If everything is getting more expensive, then why are there price differences from one shop to another? It all goes back to cost.
- How much are the rent and property taxes for the location of the business?
- How well is the shop equipped to fix all issues? Having the capability to diagnose and resolve complex issues requires a higher level of expertise and factory tools & equipment.
- Is it a reputable shop? Are they using pirated software or paying for the proper licenses? Are they environmentally conscious? Are they paying workers compensation, benefits, etc.?
- How experienced are the technicians? Are they inexpensive rookies or seasoned veterans?
- Does the shop invest in ongoing training, technical information, and the latest tools?
- Are there dedicated, knowledgeable service consultants who will take the time to listen and advise you before giving an itemized estimate? Or is the same guy working on your car giving you a rough ballpark?
- What quality of parts is the shop using? Are they aftermarket or genuine parts?
- What kind of warranty do they offer and do they stand behind it?
- Are there amenities, such as shuttle rides, rental cars, comfortable waiting room, service reminders, etc.?
So the price you’re given is based on the shop’s cost for parts, labor, and overhead. I want you to know that our prices are calculated to cover only our costs and allow the company to survive in this market. If another shop gives you a price that sounds too good to be true, then there may be something missing from the equation.
When you’re comparing shops, you have to consider what factors are important to you. Is it only the price? Or do you see value in the whole experience? It’s the difference between a discount store and a specialized store focusing on a great customer experience!