The Science and Data Behind RepairPal Fair Price Estimates
It sounds pretty simple—build a system for estimating the prices of the most common repairs and services on the most popular vehicles and then adjust for geography. As one early enthusiast for the concept said, “You just add the labor cost to the parts cost. It should be pretty easy.” After spending more than a year researching, collecting, converting, cleaning, analyzing, and structuring many sources of data, we can confidently say it’s much easier said than done.
Let’s start with the labor component of a repair or service. Our proprietary, patent-pending model generates a labor rate that takes into account the user’s automobile make, location, and service channel. We’ve used advanced statistical techniques on thousands of real-world data points—gained through surveys and analyses of actual repair invoices—to refine and test our model. We combine the model’s output with our proprietary database of the actual labor repair times used by technicians to estimate and charge for a job.
The parts used in a repair come from one of thousands of manufacturers, often from the same supplier that created the original part (OEM—original equipment manufacturer parts, typically purchased through a dealer), or from one of many companies producing comparable parts, often sold at a lower price (aftermarket parts, typically purchased through an independent shop). We incorporate multiple proprietary sources for parts prices, adjust for macroeconomic factors, and leverage our dedicated in-house team of automotive parts professionals to continually update our data. This enables us to deliver highly-accurate RepairPrice Estimates.
Having all this data is not enough. It doesn’t fit together naturally and requires expert technicians to manually assemble every procedure, job by job. In addition to connecting the right parts and procedures, our mechanics record essential insights that the consumer of each service should know. We call these Expert Insights and they include information about associated repairs, details about the parts and procedures, and warnings about common up-sell pitches.
We arm consumers with all the information needed to ensure they get the right services at the right price. Consumers simply cannot get this objective information anywhere else.
RepairPal Fair Price Estimates do not include:
- Diagnostic costs incurred
- Local sales taxes
- Disposal and shop material fees
- The cost of additional work that may be needed