How to Give Back by Tipping Your Auto Mechanic

Tipping mechanic

Here in the U.S. we tip waitstaff at restaurants, baristas when we get coffee and valets when they park our cars. Because these are common situations, we don’t think twice about tipping and even give a bit more during the holiday season. What about less common situations, like when you have your car serviced? It is nice to let your auto mechanic know that you appreciate their hard work, especially during the holidays.

There are no hard and fast rules about tipping mechanics. Here are a few things to keep in mind when making your decision.   
  • Do you go to the same mechanic every time your car needs service? If he or she always provides great service at a fair price, tipping is a great way to show your appreciation.
  • Think about how much you’d like to tip. 20% is common for a meal at a restaurant, but it’s difficult to determine an amount for an automotive service. A $5 tip is considered a kind token.  $20 could be given for great service or a more complicated job. Give a larger tip if you feel that your mechanic went above and beyond.
  • Before you tip, ask if it’s okay first. Some auto technicians are not allowed to accept tips. Asking first will help you avoid an uncomfortable situation. If your mechanic followed through with exceptional service, consider offering them a tip that would cover a meal like lunch.
  • Mechanics are paid either an hourly rate or a flat rate. Parts and labor typically make up the bill. However, don’t assume the technician working on your car is getting a large portion of what you pay for labor. 
  • Sometimes mechanics will help you out without charging you. In this case, giving a tip makes sense and shows that you appreciate their help.
  • Even when tipping is appropriate, the best way to show your appreciation is by saying “thank you” and recommending the mechanic to your friends.

Keep in mind that you should never feel obligated to tip your mechanic. Tipping should be used to show appreciation for a job well done or for exceptional service.
Are you looking for a new mechanic? Read our tips on choosing an auto repair shop and then schedule your service on Openbay.

13 comments

  1. I liked how you said that tipping should be used to show appreciation for a job well done. My brother bought a used car that has a damaged transmission. It may be beneficial for him to find a repair shop that specializes in transmission repair.

  2. I had no idea that you could tip your mechanic. This sounds like a great idea that will make it really easy to get things moved along. My sister is thinking about getting an automotive repair.

  3. This is some really good information about how much you should tip your auto mechanic. I liked that you pointed out that they get pained an hourly or flat rate. It does seem like a good idea to also think about how big the repair was and what type of car I have.

  4. I never considered tipping my mechanic until I read this. I like your point about giving a larger tip if they do a good job. I might consider this the next time I go in for repairs.

  5. I love what you said about tipping and saying thank you. Working with a mechanic is beneficial for your car. If my car were experiencing problems, I would look for the best mechanic in town.

  6. I have never thought that much about tipping the mechanic. I can see why tipping the mechanic would go a long way. It is also good to know that the mechanic may be making a lot less on the labor they perform due to overhead.

  7. Thanks for pointing out that we should ask if they accept tips before trying to hand over the money, since some technicians aren’t allowed and might get in trouble. My husband and I need to find a good mechanic to fix a loud noise that’s been coming from my older car for the last few days. I like to tip for services to bring a little happiness to people, so thanks for the reminder that in some cases we should ask if it’s OK first.

  8. I really like your advice about making sure to tip your mechanic if you continuously go back and always get great service. My husband and I just moved to a new area, and we are looking around for a reliable mechanic that we can trust if we are ever in need of car repairs. I will be sure to remember your advice when to tip, as well as how much to tip; 20% sounds like something that we could easily give if the job was well done.

  9. It helped when you mentioned how you can show appreciation to a mechanic that you go to often by tipping them. I can see how anyone looking into this would want to understand how to find the best mechanic in their area so they get quality services. A friend of mine needs to get a mechanic that can help with his truck fleet, so I’m glad I found this.

  10. I loved when you mentioned how sometimes the mechanics will help you without charging you. It is always a good idea to compares several mechanics to find the one you want to work with. Personally, I would also want to find a mechanic that has experience working with jeeps like mine.

  11. I liked that you talked about knowing what the rates for the mechanics are beforehand. That way, you know beforehand how much going to them will cost. Also, it might also be smart to ask who quickly they can get the job done as well.

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