Garage work - proof of parts costs

I’m sure I’m not alone in this.
Having read of others trusting garages other than known or recommended places, shouldn’t a garage provide the actual parts ordered showing the invoice from where they were actually purchased?

Not being a mechanic, you take your car in say eg; for l an advisory for tyres. rear springs, new discs and pads etc etc.

You get the cost in total of parts listed & labour + vat and you trust them.

Then drive away not knowing if the parts you’ve paid for are genuine, brand new or whatever?

I had new brakes and discs all round and requested a certain make to be fitted, but to this day I do not know if they are the genuine parts. Without taking the wheels off I wouldn’t know except if they were shiny or different :sweat_smile:

Last time I told a garage I was going to order the parts myself-. They said fine, no problem, but I got a quote from them to fit to be on the high side .

Aren’t garages obliged to give the actual cost paid from supplier ( even if they do get it trade?)

Hi B,
The simple answer is no. If you buy a TV from Comet they do not tell you how much they paid for it and the same goes for everything.

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Fair enough.
Guess ts the trust them and learn more from experience.
Thanks Mad_Malc

For some things like oil they bulk buy too. So if your car takes for example 4.3L they wouldn’t buy 5L and give you the 0.7L back for top ups. That way every few changes they have enough to do one for free. But not even that, they buy it in 50L+ drums at a much lower price and just use what your car needs.
If you asked for specific brand disks you could ask for the packaging perhaps. No prices would be disclosed that way. They would hold prices close to their chest because dealers tend to get discounts too, they don’t pass those on to customers. Would you?

As for trusting a dealer, I don’t. Had a main Toyota dealer by the ■■■■■ many years ago when they charged for a full service and the oil was still dirty, air filter wasn’t changed, all sorts. Made a fuss in the reception and refused to go into a back office. Wanted other customers to hear what had been done! The manager crawled up himself and I’m sure he would have given us his shoes had we asked :rofl: There are MANY excellent ones tho. There’s a few around here I trust, one implicitly. Still tend to do most of my own work.
If you go to a main dealer you can be sure the parts are genuine tho if nothing else. Bit dig deep haha.

I asked my local garage to service my SEAT vag group daily driver. Because it was still under warranty I wanted them to use VW approved parts. They used Helix oil (don’t know if that’s approved or not?) and Mahle filters, don’t think they were.
Anyways I do my own now, at least I know what’s been done and used.
Another dealer, different car, used oil from big drum and when asked what spec (for my car) they hadn’t a clue.
It’s very difficult to know as you say what oil, what filter (squeeze under the car maybe to check😵) can also apply to brake discs/pads too, who knows what they use and then say what’s been used.

Just get quotes and ask what will be used, make your own mind up and checks it’s all about trust with some, not guaranteed though.

I have my own garage, we offer Genuine, aftermarket & performance upgraded parts, I will always state on the invoice what brand / make of parts supplied or fitted & a separate labour price, so the customer can clearly see what they are paying for.

I will only show RRP Inc VAT not our trade price, my hourly rate is fixed, but capped if the job is a solid days work.

Also if a customer wants to supply there own parts, thats fine as long as I’m happy with the parts to be fitted, we will fit them & the rate will always stay the same weather customer or i supply the parts.

I know a few people with the own business etc, and they all work the same way.


Thanks guys. It’s good to hear similar views and I like the idea of Genuine parts, that’s really assuring for peace of mind, even if the parts were obtained with trade offers etc


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The guy that services my cars leaves the old parts in the packaging the new parts came in in the passenger footwell of the car, so used air and pollen filters, brake components, spark plugs etc. The only thing he doesn’t leave is the oil filter but he leaves the box the new one came in. He likes this for three reasons, 1 He knows that I’ll be happy with the components he’s used. 2 He doesn’t have so much rubbish to pay to get rid of and 3 he passes the re-cycling buck to me! A good system I think! As far as pricing is concerned he tells me what the price for the job is going to be as a lump sum, doesn’t split it into materials and labour, I’m fine with that, if he wants to make some profit on the components I don’t see that as a problem. He has to order them and chase the suppliers up and so on.




My trusted independent is good.
I buy the parts that I want fitted including oil.
Also advices/checks with me what to get too.
He is more than happy with that as it also saves him faffing about too.
He just charges me for the standard labour, as he said he doesn’t charge extra for the parts anyway.
Good blokes. :+1:

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If you buy a bag of chips from the chip shop they don’t tell you how much they paid for the potatoes.

We don’t fit customers parts, if the part is wrong then the car is stuck on the ramp and no other work can be done meaning loss of work which you can’t pass into the customer.

Garages should give you an invoice stating the name of the parts used, ie

Pagid pads or brembo pads etc.

If a customer requests a certain type of tyre or pad or oil then we will say it may cost extra and give the customer the options of what we can get and what they want.

Trick is to try and find a garage you can trust because the trade does have a bad name and not all garages are like that.

We offer a full 12 months warranty with all our work, batteries is longer but you know what I mean.

Can’t fit cheap parts and keep refitting it because it was cheap under warranty, that would cost the garage money and reputation.

Hope I’ve helped.


Yes thanks.
If I had the use of a garage to raise car high for ease of work - I’d have go at many things but not keen on working on my back under support axles.

Guess that’s reason enough to pay garage

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Just need to find a garage you trust, honestly not all garage are there to sting you, I admit a lot are so choose wisely and trust your gut instinct.

Do what you can at home but do it safely.

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Just get your garage to say if they guarantee the work or not.
My local will not guarantee work if I supply the parts, especially if unbranded or some eBay junk.
He will how ever find the genuine part before someone like Honda has put in a box and charged a premium for them. For the price I could buy a genuine Honda part for my Type R he could buy the same part direct from the manufacture and fit it.
Often the manufacture of the part and the manufacture of the car are different companies.
Do Mazda make their alloys or do they get Enkei or similar to do it and then buy them? (My rx8 wheels were genuine but made in china, buy who knows) Many parts work like that, good mechanics know where to go and what quality to use.

I think if you find someone you trust, look after them and they will look after you.


We guarantee all our work but my boss just refuses to fit customer parts as it has caused many issues in the past.

I agree with you but I’m just a monkey with a wrench and don’t make the rules.

I also agree, you be loyal to a good garage and they will look after you.

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SWMBO & I have used the same garage for 24 years, and have created a very good mutual trust situation. Typically, in December, I needed a used/Gteed PAS rack, leaking Auto transmission returrn pipes, and 4 new OEM coil springs on the Mk1, plus numerous minor fettles to get it through the MOT.r
Our situation is that 9 times of 10, I know what the issue is, and deliver the car with the bits I know they will need…maybe bar ra seized bolt or summat.
I leave brakes & calipers them though as they have a good source of OEM Dealer grade & coded components at wholesale prices. We don’t know the unit prices nor do we need to.
We just know they are the real OEM bits…cheaper.
I had to call them last week to remind them I owed them the bill. Usually SWMBO & I pay on collection but if they are too busy, we just get the keys and off we go.
Both our cars are pretty old, one 27 years & the other 16 so they know I’m the “Go too” for bits and pieces. They never order anything unless it’s something minor like plugs or wiper blades…maybe a belt.
They also know we recommend them to others especially in the local 5 community, so they have benefited well form that, and they recognise it when it comes to Labour calculations
We’ve watched their young apprentice spanner lads develop into good mechanics, the eldest is just about to take over the business due to Director’s ill health.
He’ll be getting a decent malt from us at the key-handover party.
Would not dream of letting another garage near our cars, and if the business ever closed we’d follow the lads onto where they went…if possible.
It’s always all about the people, and mutual trust & respect.
Which reminds me…I’ve an envelop of some cash they are due…after some prodding!


That’s a great way to assure me/us non mechanics about certain garages around the country, and re establishing good relations with garage mechanics.
Cheers for you input :laughing:

No garages dont have to tell you where the parts come from but have to cover them on warranty. Plus they do have to give you the old parts if you ask them for them. The way I look at it is that if you have a bacon butty do you ask where the bacon came from


Point taken, thanks

So you need a new part on the car. You ask the garage for a price to supply and fit. They quote £100 for the part and £100 for the labour. If it doesn’t work when fitted it will be the responsibility of the garage to supply and fit another. You pay your £200 and all sorted.

Alternatively you can source the part yourself for £80 and save yourself £20. Great.

What if it doesn’t work? Not the garages problem. They will remove the part for £50. Then it’s up to you to chase the suppliers. They will probably want it returning and if indeed it is faulty they will then supply another. Maybe a bit of a wait and another £50 for fitting. So £280 total cost and loads of hassle.

What if the supplier says the one you sent back isn’t faulty? You’ll probably have to pay postage both ways. Then you’ve got to pay another £50 for the garage to fit it again. If it still doesn’t work then who do you play hell with?

Could finish up being a nightmare all for the sake of £20.


A pig??

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