Variable Labor Rate!?!?

Whats up with using a variable labor rate for service dependent on the “difficulty of the job”.

Apparantly many shops, and most all dealerships do it.

It seems like “double dippin” to me. Arent the difficulty of the job and the time it takes to complete the job directly proportional. Or is this faulty logic on my part?

Anyone else aware of this? Whats your take? Would sure love to hear Tom and Rays Opinion.

Many years ago, I bought a Volvo from a dealership that sold Pontiacs primarily, plus a few Volvos per month. When I was in the service department for the car’s first maintenance, I managed to see the “multiplier” chart for labor fees on their Pontiacs, and it really opened my eyes.

For the exact same job that might be performed on a Catalina, the labor charge would be multiplied by 1.2 for the same procedure on a Star Chief, by 1.4 on a Bonneville, and by 1.5 on a Grand Prix. In other words, if you could afford to buy a more expensive model, you would be gouged for a higher labor charge for the exact same procedure, as compared to a more basic model. Since these cars were the same mechanically, that little chart gave me some insight into the tactics of that sleazy dealership.

I don’t believe I have ever seen it, but I suppose if a problem required skill and talent that most of the shop’s mechanics did not have then it would be fair to charge more for the master’s attention. Also it is likely that the more experienced mechanic will likely require less hours.

Now I have to ask how all this fits in to book hours?

“Labor Rates Subject to Change According To The Attitude Of The Customer”

This is SOP in repair shops…

I have seen this before and it is a good thing to implement. It is not double dipping but it is beneficial to customers who need minor repairs. In my area the labor rate is about $88 an hour but for simple jobs it could drop to about $55 an hour. Would anyone like to pay the higher rate of $88 for a simple job like brakes or a water pump? That’s when the labor rate drops to the lower level. But if there is a hard to find problem like something electrical then the higher rate prevails.
If you have or have not heard of this you may want to ask the shop to implement this if you have a minor repair.

A very good shop I would visit although owner had a big head had differing rates on make. Domestic/Import were $70/hr except for BMW was $85/hr, MB was $95/hr, and Jag/Land Rover $100+/hr. My lowly ($3000) Civic always looked funny in there parked between highest end MB, BMW and Range Rover’s but the owner stated he enjoyed working on them.

but the owner stated he enjoyed working on them.

And I, for one, believe that is a good and fair way of setting prices.

"Labor Rate $25/hour"
If The Customer Watches, $35/hour
If The Customer Helps, $$45/hour
If The Customer Works On It First, $80/hour

A lot of doctors also charge varying rates on an office visit depending on what’s involved. It may be referred to as a Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 visit, etc. depending on whether the visit is a simple blood pressure/temp check and here’s a prescription or a more involved one with needle sticking involved.