How much for what, the repairs or for the parts? Any body shop can give you an estimate for repairs or parts. They use crash guides that list current parts prices and replacement times. First they have to determine what parts are needed. There's no way you can take enough pictures to cover all the possibilities. Sometimes bent metal brackets can be straightened. Sometimes removing them to do so costs more money in labor than it does to just put a new one on. That depends on the shop's labor rate and how busy they are.
Each part has a time associated with it. Assuming every shop finds all the same parts are needed, they should calculate the same total time. Some shops take the time to determine when two or more parts can be replaced in less total time when done together, and they add in that discount. Some shops use used parts from a salvage yard. That can save a lot of money but they're still going to have to be sanded and painted. Removing little dents first takes extra time but dents often show up on new sheet metal panels too.
When they calculate the hours to do the repairs from the book, that doesn't mean the car will be done in that many hours. Three people could work on it and get it done sooner. More often they'll do one step, then set it aside to allow products to cure. They'll go back to working on a different car meanwhile. Experienced mechanics will get the work done faster. Less-experienced people often have to do some painting steps over when they make a mistake. They may also not have learned some of the disassembly shortcuts yet so they'll take longer.
Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 AT 12:49 AM