Specialist restoration services

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by Bobj, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. Bobj

    Bobj Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 12, 2013
    I wonder if I could please get some advice from more experienced members of the community.

    I have had a engine built and some other work done on one of my cars which required a lot of parts (New year ratios, webers, etc). Most of the invoice was parts (which didn't surprise me). The bill however, was significantly more than I expected and when I checked some of the parts online the prices looked high although it was difficult to find real comparison on the majority of the parts as they were just listed generically. I haven't spent a lot of time on it, but on one part I could source 30% cheaper. The well known specialist did admit that the parts were marked up to reflect the time sourcing them but this one was an error and he would credit it back. He has thus far however not disclosed the mark ups on other items.

    I find this hugely opaque.

    Is this normal? I am based in the UK. I might be naive but I had always assumed that parts were supplied at cost and specialists made their money on labour? (Which is also a sizable amount, at £70 an hour).
  2. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 15, 2012
    Exeter and Cirencester
    Full Name:
    Very interesting. I have just had my Dino serviced, so I have checked the parts prices on the invoice against those on Superformance's website. The figures were exactly the same, but with the benefit of 5 / 10% trade discounts, so they have cost me less than if I had bought them myself. And the labour rate is £67.50 / hour.
  3. TerryG!

    TerryG! Rookie

    Feb 12, 2017
    south east UK
    My experience has been that some service providers use so-called Recommended Retail Prices when selling us parts. These are frequently much higher than discounted prices.
    The lesson for us is to make the way in which parts will be supplied a part of the contract. Especially with those providers who neglect to make their terms sufficiently clear when quoting.
  4. johngtc

    johngtc Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Mar 4, 2005
    Yorkshire, UK
    Full Name:
    John Gould
    I have no axe to grind on this subject, but is this practice any different to what happens with almost every garage dealing with volume cars? The trader gets a discount for being a regular customer and having to fund the cost of parts until they are fitted to a customer's car and, more to the point, they get paid. This is part of the business model.

    Sourcing parts for older cars can also be a very time consuming chore. Ask me how I know? Sometimes it can take hours on the internet or phone to find the correct part and an advertisement does not mean the vendor can actually supply the part, let alone at the price quoted!

    Lastly, I think £70/hour for a skilled restorer compares very favourably with the labour charges levied by the average BMW or Mercedes dealer, where a 'technician' plugs in a computer (at a charge) and then fits parts off the stores shelf.

    I think it is also worth adding that many parts for older cars, even genuine ones, do not fit without a great deal of fettling,

    No one condones rip-off prices but it is not quite as straightforward as it may appear.
  5. TerryG!

    TerryG! Rookie

    Feb 12, 2017
    south east UK
    No, I don't think it is. The OP asked for advice and my advice is simply to ensure that the provider's quote is thoroughly clear and understood before accepting it and agreeing to work starting. Essentially a 'no surprises' approach that makes no assumptions.

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