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Monday, 6 April 2009

Who says automotive service costs are opaque to the layperson? The body shop salesman estimated that my Toyota dealer had quoted $1200 to repair the ding in my quarter panel. He was spot-on. I had earlier laughed at the Toyota body shop staffer when handed the quote, telling him I thought it would have cost about $400 to complete the job. I was spot-on.

Toyota seems to think that drawing up an itemised quotation justifies charging three times what a local shop wants for the same work. In the list there are 26 items, including one for new badges totalling $40. The list includes also an estimate of 12.6 hours' work. The local shop just tells me that if I drop off the car on Tuesday I can pick it up on Thursday afternoon or Friday.

That sounds fine to me.

The ding is about the size of a golf ball and I earned it while parking the car in a multistorey carpark that has these irritating overhanging bits where half-floors protrude into the other stages. It's a whole series of mezzanines that provide ample opportunity to damage your precious car. The carpark is at the place I used to work at, so there's little likelihood of my returning to aggravate the damage.

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