Find out if there is a fee for an estimate

Some repair shops charge an fee when they give you an estimate. They can only charge you an estimate fee if you agree to pay it before you get the estimate.

A repair shop cannot give you a free estimate if you have them do the work, but then charge you if you decide not to use their services.

An estimate fee may include the cost of:

  • the time it took to check the car
  • putting the car back together after they check it
  • any parts that will need to be replaced because of the inspection needed to prepare the estimate

Be sure to keep a copy of your written estimate. If you agree to the repairs, the repair shop cannot charge you more than 10% over the estimate. If they do, you do not have to pay the extra cost.

You should never sign a blank estimate or work order. If you do, it gives the repair shop permission to do whatever work they feel is necessary, even if you disagree.

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