It can be hard to keep a smile from crossing your face when your auto mechanic hands you the keys to your vehicle after a repair job and you're pleased with the quality of the work. Even as you're getting ready to pay the repair invoice, you might be thinking about showing some extra gratitude to the mechanic for his or her care — and the best way to express your thanks is often with a tip. However, unlike tipping your restaurant server, handing some cash to your mechanic isn't as clearly defined. If you're unsure about the approach you should take for tipping, here are three things to keep in mind.
Some Shops Don't Permit Tips
Although tipping isn't widespread in the auto-repair industry, many customers do take the approach of tipping their mechanics to express thanks for a job well done. However, not every shop allows its employees to accept tips. As such, if you're thinking about tipping, it's a good practice to call the shop beforehand, ask to speak to a manager and confirm if there are any tipping regulations. The last thing that you want to experience is the uncomfortable moment that arises when you attempt to tip your mechanic, only for him or her to have to decline your generosity because of a shop regulation.
Tipping Guidelines To Consider
You shouldn't ever feel obligated to tip your mechanic. Because tipping isn't widespread, you can have work done on your vehicle and pay the bill without ever feeling guilty for not leaving a tip. However, if you do wish to tip, there are some general guidelines to consider. It's appropriate to tip between $10 and $20 if the repair bill is no more than $500. If you're looking at a repair bill that is higher than $500, you might wish to think about tipping around $50. Remember, though, that because tipping isn't customary, anything you give is likely to be appreciated by your mechanic.
Cash Isn't The Only Choice
Whether the auto shop doesn't permit cash tips or you don't have the budget to give a tip that reflects the value of the repair work, there are other ways to express your thanks. One strategy is to write a letter or note of thanks to the mechanic that can be displayed on the shop wall for other customers to see. You might also wish to think about giving a treat — for example, stopping past the shop with a cake or some cookies can take the place of a cash tip.