One of the most common terms that both car repair customers and service representatives use when discussing auto repair costs is “ball park” estimates. Rather than actually pin down a number, repair shops will often say “oh around $200-$300 bucks.” Customers sometimes ask for a ball park estimate, as if they don’t want to trouble their mechanic for an actual price.
While “estimation” is indeed necessary for many repairs, most repairs and services are straight forward. The trouble with ball park estimates is that they are too vague, allowing a repair center to manipulate the price to maximize their profit. In fact, you may agree to a ball park estimate that’s quite frankly “out of the park!”
In short, be on alert when you’re told: “About $800 bucks and your car will be all set.” Or,“It should run around $200 bucks.” Auto repairs rarely come out to a nice even round number. Think of it this way: if you went to a hotel and asked how much a room was for the night and the clerk said “Oh…I’d say around $200 bucks,” would you accept that? Of course not!