how much does a mechanic charge per hour


Curious about the cost of having a mechanic work on your vehicle? Many factors can influence the hourly rate of a mechanic, making it difficult to pinpoint an exact figure. The average hourly labor rate for mechanics varies depending on location, experience, and the type of vehicle being serviced. Overall, mechanic labor rates usually range from $80 to $150 per hour, but can even surpass this range in some cases. It’s important to consult with your local mechanics and get multiple estimates before committing to any repairs to ensure you are getting the best deal possible for your specific needs. Additionally, be wary of unusually low rates, as this can sometimes indicate poor quality work or hidden fees.

Key Takeaways:

  • Hourly Rates Vary: Mechanics charge varying rates per hour depending on their experience, location, and the complexity of the repair.
  • Industry Average: The national average for mechanic hourly rates is around $80 to $100 per hour, but this can fluctuate significantly.
  • Shop Rates vs. Independent Mechanics: Comparing rates at different shops and independent mechanics can help you find the best value for your money.

Factors Affecting Mechanic Rates

Even though the hourly rates of mechanics can vary widely, there are several key factors that can affect how much a mechanic charges per hour. These factors include geographic location, experience and certification levels, and the type of auto repair shop the mechanic works for. To get a better understanding of what’s considered a reasonable hourly labor rate for an auto mechanic and what contributes to that rate, you can check out this informative Quora thread.

Geographic Location

Rates for mechanic services can vary greatly depending on the geographic location. For example, mechanic rates in urban areas are typically higher than rates in rural areas due to the cost of living and demand for auto repair services. Additionally, mechanic rates may also be affected by the local economy and competition among auto repair shops in the area.

Experience and Certification Levels

Factors such as mechanic experience and certification levels can significantly impact hourly rates. More experienced and certified mechanics often charge higher rates due to their expertise and skillset in handling various auto repair tasks. On the other hand, less experienced or entry-level mechanics may charge lower rates as they continue to build experience and skills in the industry. For instance, a mechanic with ASE certification is likely to charge higher rates than a mechanic without any certification.

Average Hourly Rates

Obviously, the average hourly rate that a mechanic charges can vary depending on a variety of factors. These factors can include the type of repair being performed, the location of the garage, and the experience and expertise of the mechanic. On average, however, you can expect to pay anywhere from $80 to $150 per hour for labor.

Dealership vs. Independent Garages

Any vehicle owner knows that taking their car to a dealership for repairs can sometimes result in higher hourly rates compared to independent garages. The reason for this is that dealerships often have higher overhead costs, including brand-specific training and specialized equipment. However, independent garages may offer more competitive rates due to lower overhead and may provide more personalized service.

Specialty vs. General Repairs

Repairs that require specialized knowledge or equipment, such as those for luxury or European vehicles, can sometimes result in higher hourly rates. On the other hand, general repairs for more common vehicles may be charged at a lower rate. It’s important to keep in mind that while specialty repairs may cost more per hour, the expertise and precision offered by a specialized mechanic can save you money in the long run by preventing unnecessary repairs.

Hourly rates for specialty repairs can range from $100 to $200 per hour, while general repairs may fall within the $80 to $150 per hour range. It’s important to weigh the cost against the expertise and specialized knowledge needed for the specific repair.

Additional Costs and Considerations

Not only do you need to consider the hourly rate of a mechanic, but there are also additional costs and considerations to factor into your budget when getting your vehicle repaired.

Cost of Parts and Materials

Any repairs to your vehicle may require the purchase of parts and materials, adding to the overall cost of the service. It’s important to ask for an estimate of the cost of these parts and materials upfront so you can budget accordingly. Be aware that the cost of these items can vary greatly depending on the make and model of your vehicle, so it’s important to get a clear understanding of these expenses before proceeding with the repair.

Diagnostic Fees and Additional Services

With any automotive repair, diagnostic fees and additional services may also be added to your final bill. Be sure to inquire about any diagnostic fees upfront so there are no surprises when it comes time to pay the bill. Additionally, ask about any additional services that may be recommended during the repair process and the associated costs.

Costs may also be influenced by the specific expertise or specialty of the mechanic, so it’s important to weigh these considerations when selecting a professional for your repair job.

Tips for Negotiating with Mechanics

Despite mechanics having set rates for their services, there are still ways to negotiate and potentially lower the cost of repairs or services. It’s important to approach the negotiation process with knowledge and confidence in order to achieve the best outcome.

  • Research the average labor rates in your area to have a baseline for negotiation
  • Ask for estimates from multiple mechanics to compare pricing
  • Consider discussing the parts cost and labor cost separately

After, it’s important to remember that negotiating with a mechanic is about finding a fair price for both parties involved. It’s not always about getting the lowest rate possible, but ensuring that the quality of work matches the cost.

Doing Research and Getting Estimates

With any negotiation, knowledge is power. Before approaching a mechanic about pricing, do your research on average labor rates in your area. This will give you a good idea of what to expect and provide a foundation for your negotiation. Additionally, it’s wise to obtain estimates from multiple mechanics to compare pricing and services offered.

Building a Relationship with Your Mechanic

The key to successful negotiation with a mechanic often lies in the relationship you build with them. By becoming a loyal customer and establishing trust, you may find that the mechanic is more willing to work with you on pricing and potentially offer discounts for services performed.

Relationship building takes time and effort, but the long-term benefits of having a reliable and trustworthy mechanic are invaluable. It’s worth investing in a positive relationship with your mechanic for quality service and potential cost savings in the future.


Drawing together the various factors that impact a mechanic’s hourly rate, it is clear that the cost can vary significantly depending on location, experience, and the specific services being provided. On average, mechanics may charge anywhere from $80 to $150 per hour, with higher rates typically found in urban areas with a higher cost of living. It’s important for consumers to do their due diligence, research local rates, and request estimates before committing to any auto repairs. By understanding the average cost of a mechanic’s hourly rate, individuals can make informed decisions when seeking out necessary auto maintenance and repairs.


Q: How much does a mechanic charge per hour?

A: The hourly rate for a mechanic can vary widely depending on factors such as location, experience, and the type of automotive repair needed. On average, mechanics charge between $80-150 per hour for their services.

Q: What factors can affect the hourly rate of a mechanic?

A: Several factors can impact the hourly rate of a mechanic, including their level of experience, the complexity of the repair or maintenance task, the cost of living in their location, and the specific type of vehicle they are working on.

Q: Are there any additional costs I should expect on top of the hourly rate?

A: In addition to the hourly rate, mechanics may charge for parts, diagnostic fees, disposal fees for old parts, and taxes. It’s important to ask for a detailed breakdown of all costs before agreeing to any services.

Q: How can I find a mechanic with fair pricing?

A: When looking for a mechanic, it’s essential to research and compare rates from different shops. Online reviews, word of mouth recommendations, and asking for estimates from multiple mechanics can help you find one with fair and transparent pricing.

Q: Can I negotiate the hourly rate with a mechanic?

A: While some mechanics may be open to negotiation, it’s essential to remember that quality work and expertise come at a cost. Rather than focusing solely on the hourly rate, consider the overall value and quality of the services being offered.

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