Must a written estimate be provided even in situations where the customer is not present when the vehicle is left at the repair facility?

Agency: State

A repair facility is required to provide a written estimate in each instance when the price of the diagnosis, service or repair of a motor vehicle will be $50 or more prior to repairs being performed. The price of the estimate must reflect as closely as possible the actual cost of the repair.

Even in situations where the vehicle is towed to a repair facility or left at a repair facility after hours, the law requires the facility to provide a written estimate or written waiver of estimate before beginning repairs.  In these instances, the facility can comply with the law in the following ways:

  • If the facility has a night drop box containing waiver forms, a customer may leave the vehicle before the facility is open, if the customer completes a waiver form (see Appendix B of the Repair Manual). The form must be signed, filled out completely and left in the drop box.
  • The customer may also leave a signed note along with a signed, completed waiver describing the problem and authorizing the facility to perform repairs up to a stated dollar amount without further approval.
  • The towing company may obtain a signed, completed waiver from a customer and bring the waiver with the vehicle to the facility.
  • The facility may send a copy of the estimate to the customer by mail, fax, or electronically (only if the customer agrees) before performing repairs.  If the customer declines an electronic estimate the repair facility must provide a printed estimate to the customer.  The customer may sign the estimate and return the signed form.
  • The customer may come to the facility before any repairs are performed to receive the written estimate.

 

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