Repairer Driven News
« Back « PREV Article  |  NEXT Article »
(aluxum/iStock)

Survey: Only 19% shops itemize paint materials, but majority of requests reimbursed; paint labor rate median at $50

By on
Business Practices | Education | Insurance | Market Trends | Repair Operations

Only about a fifth of collision repairers itemize paint materials rather than use an artificial hourly rate, but that minority still gets paid a majority of the time, the latest “Who Pays for What?” survey found.

Results were released May 17 for the refinishing-focused survey, which received partial or complete responses from 872 national auto body shops. Unlike other “Who Pays for What?” studies, the data is available for free to all shops. (Get it here.)

About 81 percent of the 669 auto body shops which responded to the question used the traditional if imprecise “paint materials rate,” which applies a certain multiplier per hour of refinish labor to cover a shop for the paint and materials used in the paint shop.

The other 19 percent measure the actual amount of supplies and paint consumed by the refinishing and charge for it. This amount is calculated or estimated by a variety of means, some of which were referenced by the polled repairers.

Out of the 131 auto body shops which answered the question about how they break down or estimates the actual amounts used, nearly half — 45 percent — use the Mitchell Refinish Materials Calculator. Next most popular were paint company scales, at 25.2 percent, “Other” at 14.5 percent, PMC Logic at 9.9 percent and PaintEx at 5.3.

As we noted before, the shops favoring the itemizing technique don’t have too hard a time obtaining approval from insurers.

Only about a fifth of collision repairers itemize paint materials rather than use an artificial hourly rate, but that minority still gets paid a majority of the time, the latest "Who Pays for What?" survey found. (Provided by Collision Advice-CRASH Network)

State Farm was most frequently being described as paying “always.” Interestingly, it was also the second most likely to pay “never” for invoices.

GEICO was the most likely to reject a shop’s attempt to itemize paint and materials, and also the least likely to pay for the work “always” or “most of the time.”

Some paint labor and paint materials rate data from the second-quarter 2016 "Who Pays for What?" report. (Provided by Collision Advice-CRASH Network)For the shops which opted to charge for their supplies using the hourly rate, the survey found a median amount of $34/hour. Out of the 542 number of shops providing rate data, the lowest was $18/hour, and the highest $58.

CCC in its 2016 “Crash Course” reported its data found a paint materials rate averaging $27.79/hour in 2015, for an 1.8 percent mean growth annually from $25.39 in 2010.

Mitchell doesn’t produce full-year tallies, and it didn’t trace the actual paint and materials rates charged in its May Industry Trends Report. Here’s how it calculated the most recent quarterly data then:

“Represented differently, the average paint and materials rate—achieved by dividing the average paint and materials allowance per estimate by the average estimate refinish hours—yielded a rate of $33.51 per refinish hour in this period, compared to $32.91 in Q1 2015,” Mitchell wrote in the second-quarter 2016 Industry Trends Report.

That amount is up from the first quarter of 2014’s $32.09/hour.

mitchee 1q 2016 paint materials

Paint labor rates

As for the amount charged customers for the men and women applying those paints and materials to the cars, paint labor rates in the “Who Pays” survey climbed as high as $115/hour, with a median of $50.

“1 in 4 shops are charging more than $58 per hour,” the report noted.

CCC’s 2016 “Crash Course” found similar results, with the average paint labor reaching $47.22/hour in 2015. Paint labor has climbed an average of 1.2 percent a year since 2010, when it was $44.51.

In 2015, average hourly mechanical rates in collision estimates tracked by CCC was $80.48, compared to $47.31 for sheet metal body labor, $54.21 for frame labor and $47.22 for paint labor. Mechanical labor rose 2.9 percent, compared to 1.6 percent for frame labor and 1.3 percent each for the sheet metal and paint labor. (Provided by CCC)

More information:

“Who Pays for What?” survey page

CRASH Network

“Results of refinish-related “Who Pays for What?” survey available online for free”

Collision Advice-CRASH Network, May 17, 2016

Images:

The median hourly rate found in the latest “Who Pays for What?” survey was $50. (aluxum/iStock)

Only about a fifth of collision repairers itemize paint materials rather than use an artificial hourly rate, but that minority still gets paid a majority of the time, the latest “Who Pays for What?” survey found. (Provided by Collision Advice-CRASH Network)

Some paint labor and paint materials rate data from the second-quarter 2016 “Who Pays for What?” report. (Provided by Collision Advice-CRASH Network)

Here’s how Mitchell calculated the most recent paint materials rate data in its May 2016 Industry Trends Report: “Represented differently, the average paint and materials rate—achieved by dividing the average paint and materials allowance per estimate by the average estimate refinish hours—yielded a rate of $33.51 per refinish hour in this period, compared to $32.91 in Q1 2015,” Mitchell wrote in the second-quarter 2016 Industry Trends Report. (Provided by Mitchell)

CCC in its 2016 “Crash Course” reported its data found a paint materials rate averaging $27.79/hour in 2015, for an 1.8 percent mean growth annually from $25.39 in 2010. (Provided by CCC)