Phil you charge similar to the guys I use in SYdney and do what is needed, not what they say needs to be done. I guess you don't change things that arn't worn or broken either. The dealer does. I also recon you don't charge as much for the parts that the car may need, The dealer does lol.
Labour price is the tip of the iceberg that keeps independents in business, and more and more people seem to be realising that the dealers do a shit job with service and repairs anyway.
Actually, I think I do a better job of preventative maintenance than the service schedule often dictates, so YES, I do change things that aren't broken or worn out, but might be before I see the car next.
It's not just that though..... Just recently for example, I asked the dealer for an auto gearbox oil filter for a Maserati 3200. These are a service item.
The dealer replied, and I quote, "We've never sold one, not even to our own service dept".
I got one from another source, for under $50.
And another... Pollen filters on 550 maranello... due every 6 months, but this is overkill, yearly is fine... They've NEVER sold one.
I make them myself, from vacuum cleaner filter material. I charge $10.
I check/adjust clutches, rather than change them, usually.
I actually DO clean and feed the leather where the service schedule dictates. And carry out body protection, and chassis bolt tightness checks, and wheel alignments (done on properly used, calibrated and maintained machines).
I've worked with ex dealer mechanics, I've even employed them. They're nice guys, but it's a whole world and philosophy away from where I'm at.
yes, labour is only the tip of the iceberg. I don't try to be cheaper than the dealer, I just cannot justify charging any more.
But get this, THIS is a major point.... there are a MASSIVE number of people that actually get off on the amount (LOTS) they spend on their cars, and really don't care/understand what they're getting.
It's interesting they called, it's got me thinking.