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AIBU?

To feel ripped off (garage)?

58 replies

TheAverageJoanne · 13/02/2024 01:49

During the icy weather I damaged the door handle on my car driver's side door so it was hanging off. I did some googling and found it's a design fault (Fiat 500) and reading a lot of posts on an owners' forum I joined they advised posters to ask a garage to source a genuine Fiat part and not buy "Chinese rubbish" from eBay or Amazon for £20 or thereabouts as they don't last and you have to start over again, or the screws and fittings aren't right.

I need the car for my job (not just travel to work) so I found somewhere local to where I'd be based today and they ordered the handle and fitted it today. I was remiss in not getting a quote first I know but the total bill is £297.65. For fitting a bloody door handle.

I can't not pay. But is it excessive? I'd have thought a garage would have been able to get a Fiat part for trade cheaper than me. I'm going to ask for a breakdown of costs but it seems everyone is ripping everyone off when they can just using "cost of living" as the same excuse as covid.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

102 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
74%
You are NOT being unreasonable
26%
TheSalesGirl · 13/02/2024 02:15

I don't think it's excessive at all.

I think you're being very cheeky asking for a breakdown of costs. They charge what they charge. You should have found out beforehand what the bill would be.

Why should they 'source things more cheaply' or do it for no labour charge?

HirplesWithHaggis · 13/02/2024 02:21

I do think nearly £300 to fit a door handle is a lot, but given it's a known design fault, I would have bought the cheap Chinese version for £20 rather than the official one! It's probably made in China anyway.

TequilaNights · 13/02/2024 02:22

Your paying for parts and labour.

That sounds about right, but you should have called around for prices first.

TheAverageJoanne · 13/02/2024 02:33

TheSalesGirl · 13/02/2024 02:15

I don't think it's excessive at all.

I think you're being very cheeky asking for a breakdown of costs. They charge what they charge. You should have found out beforehand what the bill would be.

Why should they 'source things more cheaply' or do it for no labour charge?

Where did I say I expected them to not charge for labour? What I meant was that a garage would be able to buy a part more cheaply than the general public. But of course they'd charge the customer more.

I've looked online at an official supplier and they charge £147.

OP posts:
TheSalesGirl · 13/02/2024 02:39

OP what will you do when you get the cost breakdown?

FishyMcFishyfingersFace · 13/02/2024 02:42

Someone I know has a Fiat 500 and last year the driver's side door handle came off, she paid approx £250 for a garage to replace it. Just after she got the car back she was giving a lift to a friend and the passenger side door handle came off when he was opening the door! She hasn't had that one replaced yet because of the price.

Depending on the garage you can pay £50 or more per hour for labour alone, plus the price of parts and VAT.

HerRoyalNotness · 13/02/2024 02:42

Yeah that’s ridiculous! So another £150 on labour, I would ask for a breakdown.

the backdoor on my Volvo stopped opening when using the outside handle, and as I had a baby, for safety I got it fixed. They broke the cable while trying to fix something in there, so had to replace that too. IIRC cost me US$1k!! Madness

Niegenug · 13/02/2024 02:52

The door handle on my car has broken again for the third time. I go to open the door from the inside to get out and nothing happens. It's the cable that has snapped again and to fix it they have to remove the inner side of the door panel and it takes a while. So with labour and the official part, it cost well over a £100 pre pandemic. For a broken cable! So with costs haven risen quite a bit since then, if I got it repaired it will likely cost a lot more. So, the price you have been charged may be reasonable.

Hollowgast · 13/02/2024 03:04

Which garage did you use? A dealer can be 150 per hour + vat for labour, and there's a likely a minimum 1h labour charge for any job they do. It sounds reasonable to me. In the past I've tried to fix things myself, and I always found it amazing how the garage were able to do stuff so quickly.

19lottie82 · 13/02/2024 03:08

You should receive a breakdown of costs in your invoice. Parts + Labour + VAT.

Labour at an independent garage is often £60 ph + VAT so if it took two hours to fit the handle, then the total price isn’t too extortionate.
Possibly the whole door needed to stripped and rebuilt.

Oblomov23 · 13/02/2024 03:50

That's nothing for car repairs, the part itself , labour for : the taking it off, fitting it, linking it in your all the electrics, plugging computer in it and making sure it all dynamics work. That's cheap. And you were foolish to not get a quote. The first thing to do when ringing any garage is to get a quote. Ring 3 garages to get quotes. That's basics.

Longsight2019 · 13/02/2024 05:04

How do you think these garages continue to trade when they have the overheads that they do. Machinery. Tools. Training. Wages. Huge premises. You’ve paid for a service and an expensive part. What would have been acceptable, a £50 labour charge which wouldn’t even cover their costs?

Suck it up and move on.

Netaporter · 13/02/2024 05:19

Ex-dealer here. @TheAverageJoanne i don’t think you realise the work required to ‘just’ fit a door handle. Inevitably the work will require removal of the inner door panel,clips holding the panel, removing the panel, not disturbing the wiring loom, taking off the old handle, unboxing and putting on the new handle, then replacing all of the inner panel again, wiping down the area. This doesn’t take into account, mats, seats covers, moving the car on site to get into the workshop etc. If you go to a main dealer, they are also duty bound to check your car for any manufacturer safety recalls regardless of the car’s age, ditto warranty recalls (all of these are free of charge and one of the more compelling reasons to use a main dealer). A main dealer will also wash and vacuum your car f.o.c and will collect and deliver/provide a courtesy car. So £147 for a part that cost £150 to be fitted properly by a trained technician really isn’t that excessive when you strip out the 20% VAT they are required by law to charge you.

HeraSyndulla · 13/02/2024 05:28

Take your Mercedes back to a main dealer if you want to my make your eyes water 👀!.

Simonjt · 13/02/2024 05:44

I replaced a handle on my car, it isn’t like replacing a handle in a house. You have to remove the internal panel on the door, this can take sometime, then you have to remove the wires for the electric locking system before you can remove the old handle. Put the new one on, re-wire, test everything works properly and rescure the panel.

Our handle was about £160, just for the actual handle, that didn’t include fixings etc that were needed as well. I got a few quotes for ours ans the cheapest was I think £380.

Bearbookagainandagain · 13/02/2024 05:51

TheSalesGirl · 13/02/2024 02:15

I don't think it's excessive at all.

I think you're being very cheeky asking for a breakdown of costs. They charge what they charge. You should have found out beforehand what the bill would be.

Why should they 'source things more cheaply' or do it for no labour charge?

Don't be ridiculous, it's not "cheeky" to ask for a breakdown when you pay for a repair service, their invoice should show the cost the parts and the cost of labour anyway.

Bearbookagainandagain · 13/02/2024 05:55

@TheAverageJoanne I don't think the cost is excessive, but they should have called you to approve the repairs (with the cost) before they do anything to your car. It is perfectly fine to ask them the cost of the part, but with labour and vat it adds up quickly.
If they haven't, you ask them to reverse anything they have done on the car and get it back, but I doubt this is really what you want?

wombat1a · 13/02/2024 06:28

Seems reasonable to me, stipping the door down, removing the old one, fitting the new one, putting the door back together would easily be more than an hours work.

TangoinTokyo · 13/02/2024 07:05

The labour includes ordering the part and receiving the order- not just the workshop time

Possibly shipping costs for just 1 item as well.

Seems very reasonable

TheAverageJoanne · 13/02/2024 07:46

Hollowgast · 13/02/2024 03:04

Which garage did you use? A dealer can be 150 per hour + vat for labour, and there's a likely a minimum 1h labour charge for any job they do. It sounds reasonable to me. In the past I've tried to fix things myself, and I always found it amazing how the garage were able to do stuff so quickly.

Just a local garage. I needed to be able to walk to and from work.

OP posts:
PiperBoo · 13/02/2024 08:02

Given that the part is £147, I dont think you've been overcharged no.

Gymmum82 · 13/02/2024 08:05

£150 for the part. £50 for labour. Plus VAT. Seems reasonable enough to me

TheAverageJoanne · 13/02/2024 08:11

TheSalesGirl · 13/02/2024 02:39

OP what will you do when you get the cost breakdown?

I'll be informed. I'd no idea about the cost of the item or labour. Yes I should have asked.

OP posts:
Sprig1 · 13/02/2024 08:14

Maybe you could do it yourself next time. It doesn't sound unreasonable to me.

As476 · 13/02/2024 08:16

Phone a fiat dealer and ask them to quote you for that part. I work in a garage and we get a 2% discount on main dealer parts. Unless you specialise and order massive quantities of parts you don’t get things much cheaper.

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