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I've been organising the history and files for my Conti.R, which I've owned for almost 10 years. Looking back at some of the bills from one particular specialist garage, there are some silly figures in there and I can see I was taken as a bit of a mug to be honest.

Firstly, this garage delivers excellent work and has plenty of satisfied customers - I want to stress this. I just think some of the charges I was hit with are a bit naughty. The company is

Looking at an invoice from around 6 years ago for replacement of rear springs and replacement of 1 spring cup. The total cost breakdown was as follows:

Labour 3.5 hours @ £84/hour = £294 including vat
Parts £446.62 including VAT

This is all reasonable I think.

However there is also a charge, in addition to the above, for 4 wheel alignment - £420 inc.vat.

Bearing in mind the car only has adjustment on the front (unless you remove the rear subframe and set up on an engineer's surface table, which, obviously, didn't happen) and that adjustment is relatively straight forward, I think that is an absolutely insane charge for, basically, tracking ( correct me if I'm wrong?) But, what is worse is - and, again, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong - arguably, completely unnecessary when charged in relation to the replacement of rear springs - the front end wasn't touched and the replacement of rear springs wouldn't change the geometry.

Thus, the total cost for this work was £1160 including vat - which starts to be very expensive for a relatively straight forward job.

Some of these specialists need real scrutiny and I should have raised this at the time - and it's a lesson to any new owners, just be really careful. I should also say there are many very transparent and decent specialists out there who would never carry out unnecessary work.

I am dropping the garage in question a line for comment and I'll post what they come back with.
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