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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
    451
    UK
    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
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    Oct 15, 2012
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    Exeter and Cirencester
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    John
    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! Karting

    Feb 12, 2017
    57
    Central 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
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    Mar 4, 2005
    814
    Yorkshire, UK
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    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.
     
    ///Mike and steve meltzer like this.
  5. TerryG!

    TerryG! Karting

    Feb 12, 2017
    57
    Central 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.
     
  6. PDX_214

    PDX_214 Formula Junior

    Apr 25, 2010
    654
    Portland, OR
    Full Name:
    J
    Depends on the part and what car it's for. Something you can order from a Ricambi type supplier is usually charged retail because the shop should have an account and will make their money on the difference between their cost and retail, no issue there. Something that isn't sitting on a freshly stocked warehouse shelf, waiting to be ordered is another ball game. Some parts are hard to find. Some are VERY hard to find. Others have to be made. For instance I had to make brake booster mount brackets for a DB4 restoration, good luck finding those sitting on a parts shelf. 30% on parts isn't unheard of though, it's a little on the high end but can be normal for a hard to source part.

    What is the part/car in question?
     
  7. Christian.Fr

    Christian.Fr F1 World Champ

    Jun 9, 2005
    18,832
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    Christian.Fr
    You have in the general forum
    A Regional Areas - International .
    with: United Kingdom.
    I think you will have more contacts and informations.
     
  8. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle F1 Rookie
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    Oct 15, 2012
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    I forgot to add that this was from a Ferrari main agent - Carrs of Exeter - so maybe taking your car to a specialist instead of a main agent is a false economy.
     
  9. johngtc

    johngtc Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Mar 4, 2005
    814
    Yorkshire, UK
    Full Name:
    John Gould
    John

    This might say more about Carrs than anything! I have no connection and have never used them but they do have a reputation that seems to set them apart from many of their fellow dealers. How nice to hear about this.

    John
     
  10. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle F1 Rookie
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    Oct 15, 2012
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    Yes, I am very lucky to have them here in Exeter, only a couple of miles from my home. They have been very good to me.
     

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