If you have a car, it should not be a secret for you that it breaks or has technical issues sometimes. It is crucial to organize a full checkup once at a certain time, even if it seems that your vehicle is in order. And, of course, if you feel like something is wrong or hear an unusual noise, you have to visit repairmen. If you ignore a problem, you risk a lot and become unsafe together with other road users.
When you arrive at the repair shop, the repairmen usually listen to the problem description from you, provide your vehicle with a full checkup, and define what has happened. In many cases, it is impossible to determine how much you will have to pay for the repair work. So, most likely, you will be furnished with the Auto Repair Estimate Form.
This form helps to evaluate the costs you will bear after the work is done. Because the procedure is technically complex, it is usually impossible to predict the exact sum to pay. The form incorporates information about the client, vehicle, its parts to change or fix, and what should be done with the vehicle.
At the form’s bottom, approximate calculations are made; when the work is complete, the numbers might change (slightly or significantly — depends on the work done). Then, another form is issued to the client: an auto repair bill. There, all numbers are final, and the form is supplemented by a full description of repair services provided.
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A client never fills out such templates; the only thing they do is signing them. Their signature proves that they have read the template and serves as a promise to pay for the repairmen’s work. It is the mechanic’s responsibility to complete the template with all the demanded details and provide the customer with a complete picture of the further repair work.
Repairers who deal with such forms daily probably already know how to fill them out. Still, you can be a professional who has never seen those documents and has no clue what to do with them. In this review, we provide you with a comprehensive guide that outlines how to create the Auto Repair Estimate Form line by line.
Readers who have nothing to do with such services but have cars that break from time to time can also find the guide useful. We also offer our advanced form-building software developed for sharing various legal templates with you. Use it to get the form and check it out. If you work in a repair shop, you can create your own document using our template, too. See the guidelines below.
Introduce the Client
In the beginning, you have to introduce the client for whom the work will be done. Insert their name, valid phone number, and address.
Assign the Number to the Form
You should write the document’s number on the right. Check the previously issued form’s copy in your entity’s archives and insert the following number to the new form. Below, write your name (you, as a preparer, also should introduce yourself).
Define the Time Frame
Sometimes repair works require plenty of time, and you cannot expect when the vehicle will be ready; in other cases, the work takes just a few days. You should estimate the time frame and enter the demanded dates (when your shop promises to deliver the vehicle and when it is actually delivered).
Describe the Vehicle
There is a standard set of details about vehicles that are to be repaired. You must insert the vehicle’s unique VIN (vehicle identification number), make and model, motor number, and odometer reading.
Add the Driving License Number
You should insert the client’s driving license number and the American state which has issued the document.
Tell about Basic Services
Next, you will see a list of basic services usually provided to plenty of clients. Among these services are oil change, battery check (or charge), wipers change, flat repair, washing or polishing, and others. Define whether such services are needed and comment near each listed item.
Add Labor Description and Price
You have to describe each work provided and determine the price to pay for it. You have a chart with six lines where you can add details; if this is not enough, you can use an additional sheet. At the chart’s bottom, insert the total sum in US dollars in the “Labor Total” section.
List the Parts to Change
If you can estimate what vehicle’s parts should be changed, you can describe it in the following table. For each part, write its number and name, quantity, price per unit, and the sum per each to pay in US dollars. Write the total sum at the end.
Count the Total Sum
Move to the right-hand side, where you should sum the total amount for parts and labor and insert it in the “Subtotal” section. Enter the tax rate and total tax, then. You can also add other costs if there are any. Lastly, in the last “Total” section, you must indicate the final total sum considering all taxes and costs.
Ask the Insurance Company Representative to Sign
If the client has insurance for the vehicle and the company will cover the client’s costs (partly or fully — does not matter), the document must be reviewed by its representative (or adjustor). They should also write the company’s and their names and sign the form in the designated lines.
Ask the Client to Sign
As you already know, the customer must sign the form to prove that they have checked it as well. The client’s signature is their consent to all the works described and all the sums to pay.
Now, the form is ready. You have to give the document to the client and keep the copy in your archives, so you and the client are on the same page. Besides, you can ask for an advance payment to try to guarantee that the customer will pay the full amount in the future.
Then, you render the services to the client by repairing their vehicle. Unfortunately, in some cases, you will discover many additional breakdowns that you will need to fix. If you find them significant and pricy, it is a good idea to talk to the client or insurance company prior to fixing additional breakages. You do not want to get in a situation where you and your team have spent a lot of time but cannot get any money for it.
After the customer or insurance company agrees on all the corrections, you have to write down what services are rendered additionally and count the new total sum. Do not forget to prepare the auto repair bill, where you will define all the final services and costs. Then, you should invite the client to take the car and explain what has changed and what the new expenses are (if there is a change).
It depends on various factors, including your vehicle’s age and how often you use it. If you have a rather new car and do not use it much, you should visit a repair shop at least once a year or by necessity. If your vehicle is over two or three years old or you drive it actively, turning to repairmen to make a checkup once in six months is a smart move.
Anyway, it all depends on your needs, and if you notice something extraordinary, you had better see professional repairmen right away. Always pay attention to your vehicle’s behavior and maintenance: it will prolong the vehicle’s life and save you lots of nerve cells.
This question bothers a bunch of motorists who have not found their perfect repair shop or mechanic yet. Basically, there are two wide-spread options you can use when looking for a talented mechanic or an outstanding repair shop:
This usually works perfectly if you purchase a new vehicle and the seller is an official dealer. You are given a guarantee for a certain time. If you find a great mechanic there, it is also possible to repair your vehicle after the guarantee ends; however, it can be a bit pricey.
It is a proven method that will probably help you find a good specialist. You may be surrounded by plenty of auto experts or amateurs who already have their favorite mechanic or repair shop they trust. It is even better if you have an old vehicle with a lack of an official warranty. Besides, the prices in private repair shops that are not connected to official dealers might be much lower.
The only thing we would additionally recommend is that you should not visit a random service where you do not know anyone. Sadly, some companies and shops try to cheat on their customers and provide them with limited services, so be careful and do not make a fool of yourself.