Why auto repair professionals should send great invoices
Providing outstanding auto repair service requires the perfect combination of automotive know-how and great customer experience.
Make sure your invoice is clear and organized so it explains exactly what you are charging for, while ensuring it captures the specialized automotive expertise you provided to get your customer’s vehicle back on the road.
A professional, well-designed invoice also creates confidence and credibility in your auto repair services. In addition, an easy-to-understand invoice can lead to both repeat business and valuable referrals.
Once you've downloaded your free invoice template, you'll need to customize it to fit your specific business. Here are the 10 key things to include on your invoice:
- Title and Description: Name the project and briefly describe what type of work your client is being invoiced for.
- Company Details: Add your company name, address, phone number, and logo to the top-right corner.
- Customer Details: Under "Bill To", add your customer's name, address, and contact information.
- Invoice Number: Include a unique invoice number to help you track down this invoice in the future. You can format this based on sequence and customer. For example, if you're sending your very first customer their first invoice, the invoice number could be 001-001.
- Dates: Include the date when your invoice has been issued and the date when payment is due.
- Line Item: Add individual line items for each unique good or service you provided. For each line item, include a brief description, quantity, individual unit price, and total price.
- Subtotal: Add up the subtotal of your goods or services, before tax has been applied.
- Tax: Indicate the tax rate applied to the subtotal. This is legally required to provide on invoices, and your rate may differ depending on where you run your business.
- Total: Outline the total amount due from the customer, after tax.
- Notes: Include any additional info your customer should know, including terms of service and payment terms (for example, payments are due 30 days after the invoice has been issued).
- Select from our wide range of specialized auto repair invoice templates in different designs and colors, and download the one you like in your preferred format – Word, Excel, PDF, Google Docs, or Google Sheets. It’s FREE!
- Add your auto repair company name and contact information. If you provide special features such as 24-hour roadside assistance, add it here, too
- Insert your auto repair logo, website, and any other professional-looking auto repair graphics
- Add in your customer’s name, address, phone number, and email address
- Generate a unique invoice number
- Include the date of the invoice – and the payment due date
- Clearly list the auto repair services you provided, along with descriptions, and the price for each service, including labor and parts
- You can easily add lines to customize the invoice format to include all the services you provided
- If you are including a discount for a loyal, long-time customer, or to encourage new business, add a line explaining the discount so your customer knows you are giving them a really great deal
- Calculate the total price of parts and repairs, including applicable tax, and list the total at the bottom of the invoice
- Add in your payment terms, such as the methods of payment you accept
- Cars play a big part in people’s lives, so add a personal line or two to thank your customer for their business. It could lead to more work and some lucrative referrals!
- Save the invoice for your records – and give a copy to your customer!
When is the right time to send an invoice to your auto repair customers?
The right time to send an invoice varies with the situation. If this is a smaller job, such as a tune-up or oil change, you can ask for payment upon competition.
But if this is an expensive job, requiring many hours of labor and several parts, you could ask for a percentage of the cost upfront, with the remainder when the complete job is done.
Whatever payment system you choose, make sure it’s clearly noted on each invoice, and clarify what portion of the final ‘cost’ has been paid to date.
Handy invoicing tips for auto repair professionals
Include professional recommendations
Include a few lines to describe any future auto maintenance services you recommend to keep your customer’s vehicle running in tip-top shape. You could also include links to interesting articles and automobile blogs. This personal touch shows you are thinking about your customer’s best interests, and are generously sharing your professional knowledge.
Be patient and courteous
Take the time to patiently explain the work you need to do on your customer’s car to get it running again. An auto repair bill is often an unexpected expense, so your empathy and kindness can go a long way in these situations.
Keep a record with numbered invoices
A numbered invoicing system helps you keep track of how much money is coming in. It’s also a great resource for you to refer to when working on the vehicles of repeat customers.
Accept a variety of payment methods
Don’t let payment methods get in the way of you being paid on the spot. Consider offering e-Transfers, debit payments, and other online payment methods your customers can access on their mobile phones.