Do You Tip the Body Shop? Full Guide

body shop guy

If you’re going in for some work to be on your motor; perhaps a paint touch-up or a bumper or glass repair, then you might be wondering whether you need to tip the body shop repair mechanic.

Working out what you need to tip (if anything) in everyday situations is certainly something everyone should consider when managing their budget.

Get it wrong and you could be forking out way over the odds.

In this post, we’ve done some digging to establish what the standard etiquette is for tipping at the body repair workshop (and how much if so), what body repair technicians earn, what your bill is likely to be, and other important factors such as when you should withhold a tip.

Keep reading to find out what we’ve discovered…

Should You Tip the Body Repair Workshop? The Short Answer

There is no need to tip a body repair technician and it isn’t standard etiquette to do so. If you do wish to tip then $5 – $20 should suffice depending on the total of your bill. We are often more inclined to tip mobile body repair technicians given the extra travel they endure.

How Much Do Body Repair Technicians Earn?

When deciding whether to tip, most people want to know what the recipient earns.

That makes sense – the less someone earns then the more you may wish to tip, especially if it’s common within that industry to supplement the worker’s income with a tip.

We’ve looked at several employment and job search websites and have noted the following:

Source: ZipRecruiter

As you will note, the annual salary for a body repair technician is $37,828 per year based on the data from ZipRecruiter.

According to Indeed, the average salary for a US citizen is $51,168 so it’s clear to see that a body repair shop technician is earning below that, albeit not drastically so.

Contrast that to a barista who only earns $26,265.60 per year (on the basis of a 40-hour workweek) according to Indeed.

On the basis of the above information, it seems a workshop technician doesn’t really require your tips to supplement their income, especially when compared to workers in other industries.

This is the same conclusion we reached when we looked at whether it’s customary to tip a mechanic for an oil change and also whether you need to tip window tinters.

How Much Will Body Repair Work Cost

The cost of your repair work will obviously be determined by what you need to be done.

If it’s a completely new shell then your bill is going to be far higher than some simple paint touch-up work.

According, to KeyCollisionCenter repairs for small dents and scratches, start at around $50.

The PhilLongBodyShop sets out the following for more extensive repairs:

  • Front Repair is $200 to $2,000
  • Bumper Repair is $100 to $1,500
  • Frame Repair is $600 to $10,000
  • Side Impact Repair is $200 to $2,000
  • Panel Repair is $50 to $2,000
  • Rear-End Repair is $250 to $2,000
  • Door Repair is $50 to $1,500

So you could be paying anything from $50 for simple repairs right up to $10,000 for frame repair.

Clearly, these costs will increase dramatically if you drive a top-of-the-range sports car or SUV.

How Much Should I Tip a Body Shop Repair Mechanic?

If you do decide to tip your body shop technician then you can do this on the basis of the standard 10-20% of the total cost of the bill or as a fixed sum.

If you choose to tip on the basis of a percentage then it’s clear your tip is going to be anything from $5 right up to $2000 on the basis of the above costs.

However, we think $2000 is definitely excessive and wouldn’t advise tipping more than $100 or so as a maximum.

Most people, we should imagine, will choose to tip a fixed percentage of say $10 – $30.

As above, tipping isn’t customary for body shop technicians so they won’t be expecting anything anyway.

You won’t be looked upon in disgust for not tipping into your wallet in this industry.

Should I Tip a Mobile Body Shop Mechanic

Again, it is not custom practice to tip any kind of mechanic but we think a tip is more warranted if the technician has come to you, especially if they’ve attended during unsociable hours or in bad weather.

We reached a similar conclusion when we looked at whether to tip AAA two truck drivers.

What to Tip Instead

If you’d rather tip something that isn’t money then there are a few suggestions that we think will likely go down very well at a garage.

Instead of a monetary tip try:

  • Vouchers
  • Tickets to a sports event
  • Food or drink (beer or a bottle of wine)
  • Chocolates
  • A positive Google review or review on their website
  • A referral to a friend or family
  • A thank you card

When To Tip More or Withhold a Tip

There will be a few instances when you might want to tip more at a body shop, especially if the work done is of high quality at a reasonable price:

  • If the workmanship is as good or better than expected
  • If the technician is professional and well mannered
  • If it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas
  • If the work is extensive or complex such as a full body spray or complete removal and replacement of the frame or shell
  • If the technician has come to you (a mobile tech)

We’d also consider withholding a tip if:

  • The technician is rude
  • The work is poor or has taken longer than expected
  • If you’ve been charged more than you were quoted
  • If the service was poor

Final Thoughts

It is not standard etiquette to tip mechanics or technicians within the industry and this applies to body shop repair technicians, auto glass workers, and oil change mechanics alike.

However, you may feel inclined to offer a tip if the service has been excellent and the workmanship is of a great standard.

We’d propose that $5 – $30 is adequate if you do wish to tip your body repair tech.

If the body repair mechanic has attended to you at your home or away from the garage then we often feel this warrants a tip, especially if they’ve attended in bad weather or in the early hours of the morning for example.

The bottom line is that body repair mechanics don’t expect a tip and you’re unlikely to be looked upon unfavorably if you decide not to dip into your wallet.

Many mechanics are happy to simply receive a positive Google review for their business or referral to another customer like your friend or family member.

About the author

Oliver graduated from law school in 2008 and has practiced exclusively in the field of civil litigation for the last 10 years. He has a wealth of experience and expertise in litigation involving large financial losses and a special interest in consumer law. He has achieved numerous 7 figure settlements and has been involved in multi-billion dollar class-action consumer lawsuits against companies such as the Volkswagen Group. Away from the law, he is a consumer information and personal finance writer, having been featured in key publications such as Yahoo Finance, GO Banking Rates, NewsBreak, MEL Magazine, and many more.

-Chief Editor and Founder

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