Some shops might have higher labor rates than others because of where they’re located, says Johnson. For example, San Francisco will charge more for labor than Redding, California.
“The labor rate could be a little different. The approach on how they go about repairing the car could be a little bit different. But I would say they’re all probably going to be within a reasonable distance from each other for the same repair,” says Johnson.
You can also get a quote for the insurance claim at one shop and then find another that’ll do the repair for cheaper, according to Ahmad Ali of Honda Plus Auto Recycling in Chula Vista, California. “You can get quoted for the ‘actual’ value of the repair and then go repair it yourself secondhand at a much-lesser, and in my opinion, reasonable value,” says Ali.
It really comes down to how well you know the market and at what value you can find parts and labor to give an edge in haggling, he adds.