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Estimate to Repair Vehicle

Can an auto repair shop charge to provide a written estimate of repair and then credit that amount to the vehicle owner if the car is repaired at that shop? It seems kind of like putting a ransom on your car to have the repairs done at the shop and disincentiveses the vehicle owner from getting a competing estimate.

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Submitted Fri, 04/21/2017 - 10:11

As long as the price is disclosed before any work is done on your car, a mechanic is free to charge you to diagnose your car and provide an estimate of the work required to be done. You are correct that the purpose of this is to disincentivize you from getting the work done elsewhere, that would seem to be the point, but there is nothing illegal about that. If you don't want to pay for diagnosis and an estimate, take the car to another mechanic who offers free estimates.

Atty. David Owens

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