This is a tough one to explain especially since I have been part of the problem for years. The problem you ask? For several years now there has been a massive shortage of auto mechanics. They have been leaving this field in droves. When we dive into the cause we find the answer. Back in the day auto mechanics were not very high up on the career ladder. They were always greasy, and smelly and shops didn't have customer service in their best interest. For many years now this has been changing, customer service due a lot in part to social media and the mechanic becoming a technician due to the incredible advances in vehicle technology. The problem, we still didn't know how to pay the proper wages, and after some time of jumping from shop to shop the great technicians decided to leave the field altogether. Many years of this and here we are, in a pit so deep that it will take who knows how long to climb out.
The push right now is to get our youth, that have a passion for auto repair, to get into trade schools as soon as they can, even as early as their sophomore or junior year of high school. This will have them making good money early in their careers. Hopefully, this will start a revolution that will start to repair this shortage. In the meantime, the existing mechanics and technicians realize that their wages have been subpar at best. They will not continue in this industry without proper pay. Thus the solution and the answer to the question of why are car repairs so expensive. In the last 10 years, I have seen wages for high-end technicians go from $50,000 a year to well over $100,000 a year and for mechanics from $25,000 to $60,000 or higher. This has caused auto repair shops to start increasing labor amounts which 10 years ago was around $100.00 an hour all the way up to $200.00 per hour or higher. These amounts are predicated on the higher-end auto repair facilities, the shops that have been around for a long time, and that have great presence and reviews online. These are the shops that will be around in the future to take care of the consumer's needs. These are the shops that stay on top of technology by constantly training employees and purchasing tools and equipment. If a repair shop doesn't start to charge higher amounts for labor they will not be able to afford the technician of today and will soon be out of business.