Why Does it Cost So Much at the Dealer?
February 8, 2013 | By: Ryan Schwahl
There are three main criteria used in pricing motorcycle repairs. The first is labor, or what the shop charges for the time and expertise that goes into repairing your vehicle. The second is parts, and whatever other shop support materials are used in the repair process. The third is fixed costs or overhead costs the repair shop has to cover, but that’s not reflected on your bill.
To diagnose a computer problem on today’s modern motorcycles, certified technicians must go through very extensive (and expensive) training. In addition, the equipment used by the technician to get accurate readings is costly.
Certain costs are not passed onto the consumer. Those include the costs of running a shop, which in this modern age, can be pricey. Regardless of size, a shop has expenses that have to be paid by the work generated. There are the obvious ones, like the rent, electricity, heat and other utilities.
But there are also substantial costs for equipment and technology. In order to work on today’s motorcycles a shop must have state-of-the-art scanners and diagnostic software for accurate vehicle repair. Without such info, techs cannot deliver accurate repairs. Other equipment such as vehicle lifts, dynamometers and lubrication equipment are necessary to operate a shop efficiently and effectively.
Good, trained service personnel costs money – period. Usually techs are classified as “A,” “B,” or “C” techs. The more high-grade techs there are in a shop, the more it costs to pay them. In order to attract a high-grade technician these days, shops have to pay a good hourly rate or weekly salary, in addition to health insurance and other benefits.
These technicians have to go to school on a regular basis to keep up with new motorcycle technology. Without this training, techs cannot repair vehicles in the “book time” allotted for a particular service (not to mention the occasional “headache” job that comes along).A repair shop usually pays for this training.
Many shops carry their own parts inventory. Given the number of different years, makes, and models of vehicles on the road, this inventory must be broad. Sitting on this inventory is not cheap. The cost of OEM parts is typically higher due to the fact that they are made right at the factory where your bike is made. Aftermarket parts are not as expensive because manufacturers can outsource these products to places like China, Japan, etc… It does not make them a weaker part they are just mass produced and at a cheaper labor rate.
So when the question gets brought up as to why parts and labor are so expensive, now you know. You, as a consumer, can be better informed and have more knowledge when dealing with your repair facility. Hopefully this blog posting will answer a lot of the questions for the general consumer.