Is this service cost legit?

Hi OzBargainers,

I just got my 2008 Holden Omega VE serviced from a renowned mechanic in the state.

Can you please advise me if the costs they charged me are legit or was I just ripped off?

P.S. I have been getting my car serviced from the mechanics that have a small scale business or they take cash and won't issue receipts unless I ask them for it. They won't charge much and use medium quality spare parts.

They charged me $99 for the regular service,

$140 for serpentine belt including fitting
$172 for front brake pads inc. fitting costs
$154 rear brake pads
$110 for front and rear rotors
$72 brake fluid flush
$20 for headlight globes
$31 for wiper heads.

In total, I ended up paying $920 including gst.

I wouldn't mind any funny posts if you are helping me with my query.


  • $20 for headlight globes
    $31 for wiper heads.

    Lazy tax

    • So is the serpentine belt ("oh look it's cracked, better replace it" - two weeks later it has cracks again) and the brake fluid flush.

    • Pretty reasonable actually, h7 globes at Supercheap are more expensive, then you have to fit them. Wipers are also flexblade and not standard, so also a reasonable price

    • Cheapest H7 bulb at SCA is $18 and $21 at Repco.
      $3 to source and fit a part is hardly an unfair tax.

      Similar story for wiper blades depending on quality of refill/replacement

    • 100% this
      unless the wipers are euro we don't charge to replace them for our customers.
      same with globes, unless its a fog light globe, we don't charge as the cost is negligible and most people can do it themselves.

      and if Repco is charging $21 for a H7 Globe.. then you got a generic globe (non branded) which prob cost around $4 each (wholesale)

  • You got ripped off somewhere. All of that doesn't equal $920,even if you add GST.

  • +10 votes

    If you needed those things done and you approved the works the it isn't outrageous.

    If you brought it in for a $99 service…

  • Doesn’t sound ridiculous to me.

  • Each of those items are reasonable, by themselves. But we can't tell you if wipers or globes or anything else actually needed replacing.

  • If you ask for a tax invoice they must provide one within 28 days of the request, and they must offer one if the purchase is over $82.50, but you can ask for one for purchases under $82.50. For purchases over $75 they must provide a sales receipt, and under $75 they must provide one within seven days if you ask. If it is for multiple products and services, you have 30 days to ask for an itemised receipt and they have seven days to provide it to you after you ask. Source is ATO and

    • +3 votes

      What are you on about, who pays a $920 bill without a invoice first?

  • That's very reasonable.

  • Thanks for your response guys. I do have an invoice. Sorry for any confusion. I just mentioned about previous mechanics that serviced my car and they didn't give me receipts as they take cash only.

  • 920, ouch.
    the cost of each item seems alright though. just hope it was all needed

  • Chances are most of those weren't needed, they're typical bill padding items.
    What is the mechanic renowned for, ripping people off?

  • Sounds reasonable.

  • Reasonable prices for all of those for parts + labour, if they were necessary.
    If you don't know when the last time they were changed was, then they were probably necessary (eg. serpentine belt life is averages 10 years, ymmv literally)
    Rotors seems suspiciously cheap for new rotors even for just parts - maybe just for front or rears, not both for $110. Or possibly they were just resurfaced. Either way, fair price.

  • interesting, I got my brakes done aswell tuesday - final bill $900. But i had gone in with a concern about them - the mechanic didnt just say they needed doing out of nowhere. Did you notice anything that indicated the brakes needed replacing?

    • ideally you shouldn't ever "notice" anything wrong with your brakes before they need replacing. They should perform, as they did when new, right until they are replaced.
      Regular INSPECTION of the brakes ensures they are replaced before they reach a point where you would notice anything. Some cars have electronic sensors built into the pads for this as a secondary indicator. So if the mechanic (or yourself) notices the brake linings or rotors are thin enough that they will not last until the NEXT service, then they should be replaced now.
      Consider it like an aeroplane. Preventative maintenance prevents midair catastrophe.

      • This guy gets it.

      • I was told a year earlier that I need to change the serpentine belt and the brake pads and I kept going with them. I actually drove the car for 8 months as I was overseas for 8 months. But your point is logical. Thank you.

    • My brother did mention about them, guess, they needed to be changed now or later. I am atleast reassured now that I haven't paid for unnecessary things.

  • If all those things needed doing then it looks a fair price. The headlight globes and wiper arms you should be able to notice and replace as a DIY.

  • that all looks very reasonable pricing, you already had the heads up that the brakes were needed and rotors are now a throw away item, they wear nearly as fast as the pads.

  • it's interesting that they replaced the rear brakes as they wouldn't wear at the same time as the fronts.

    The cost ($110 for front and rear rotors) front and rear rotors and brakes seems rather cheap. They must have given your the dirt cheap brand or not changed them at all and just resurfaced.
    Are you able to have a look if the rotors have been replaced or just resurfaced?

  • Ripped off on brakes and "flush"…
    wiper blades must be made of gold.

    You can do some of this yourself you know.

  • I know the VF uses full blades instead of wiper inserts. Anyone know about VE's?

  • Sounds about right and very reasonable to me