Parts & Materials: Charging for What You Use

Parts & Materials: Charging for What You Use
John Norris is the Collision Chair of the National Automotive Trades Association (NATA), and Executive Director of Ontario's Collision Industry Information Assistance (CIIA) industry trade association. You can reach him at johnnorris@ciia.com.

When performing a repair, are you tracking what you use and adding it to the bill.

We know that for many shops, the margins on collision repairs are wafer thin. Yet sometimes, what you get paid for can often fall short of what you should be charging. A lot of the time, it comes down to how accurately and diligently estimates for the actual repair are put together, yet often, there’s a discrepancy between what you actually use for fixing the vehicle and what you charge on the invoice.

For this issue, we’ve compiled a list of tools, materials, fluids and disposal fees you should factor in to your estimate and final repair bill. In some cases it might surprise you, but if it’s used for and during the actual repair, there’s no reason why it should not be included. Here’s a look at what can be added during the repair process but often gets left out when it comes to billing!

  • Adhesives
  • Adhesive Kit
  • Adhesive Remover
  • Cavity Wax
  • Door Skin Bonding Kit
  • Foam Sealer Kit on Door
  • Etch primer
  • Expansion Foam
  • Intrusion Beam Adhesive
  • Panel Bond Adhesive
  • Seam Sealer (are you discarding the rest of the tube after use and not charging for it?)
  • Sam Sealer Tips
  • Self Leveling Sealer
  • Undercoating
  • Urethane Kit
  • Weld-thru Primer

Besides actual tools and materials, what about disposal fees for cleaning up—especially given today’s environmental standards and government enforcement programs? Some of the disposal requirements you should consider are:

  • Battery Disposal fee
  • Collision wrap—total loss protection
  • Estimate fee
  • Hazmat Removal (blood etc.)
  • Hybrid Battery Disposal
  • Tire Disposal fee
  • Branding/inspection fee
  • Cleaning up broken glass fee

Also, don’t forget about fluids required, since many collision repairs will also require mechanical work and this will mean fluid flushes and top ups.

  • Brake Fluid
  • Coolant
  • Differential Fluid
  • Freon or equivalent
  • Gear oil
  • Motor oil
  • Power Steering Fluid
  • Transmission Fluid
  • Windshield Washer Fluid

A detailed estimate that includes all relevant tools, materials, disposal fees and fluids can make a very significant difference to the amount you get paid for the repair. We hope this selection helps a little when it comes to billing for that next job.

Share it !