Know what your service invoice means

It can be a moment of dread when you receive your car service invoice, and for many first-time car owners it often is when that time comes around.

Paying a closer look at your car service invoice may provide you with clarity, or it may reveal items which do not fall within the category of general consumable charge.

Here to ease the burden of understanding your car service invoice, Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA) chairman, Dewald Ranft said people are struggling financially more than ever and need to know what they are paying for.

Recommending that you take your car to an accredited workshop, Ranft reveals that certain items used when servicing a car falls within a general consumables charge category – these are items bought in bulk and used during repairs, and often include basics such as cable ties, grease, rags and silicone sprays.

“The reason these are grouped into one charge is because to name each individual item would result in the invoice being several pages long,” he said.

But, items such as brake pads, filters, wiper blades and oil must be specified separately on your invoice owing to these not falling within the general consumables charge. “This allows you to see what you are being charged for.

You will also note a line item specifying labour rate and a charge for repair work conducted.”

Ranft highlights that as a vehicle owner you have the right to question any item on your invoice should you find it unclear.

Within reason, Ranft said, an invoice should correlate with the quote given ahead of the service.

However, at times, this quote may change owing to additional findings during servicing.

That being said, the vehicle owner is required to be notified before any work is done in order to be made aware of any substantial charges which may be added over and above the initial quote.

Written consent also needs to be obtained before the workshop may do any further required repairs.

Should your accredited workshop of preference not adhere to these regulations, you are urged to report them to MIWA for investigation.