Clear communication with your customers can make your auto repair business stand out from other repair shops. This is because careful and proactive communication helps to build customer trust.
Facilitating clear customer communication extends beyond the soft skills of excellent customer service. Soft skills are fundamental and should be a focus of development and training for your team, but we also want to call your attention to the power of providing clean and clear documentation to your customers.
By proactively giving your customers detailed copies of their estimate, vehicle inspection, invoice, and receipt of payment, you help them feel informed. Doing this allows them to feel like they know what is going on with their vehicle, assists them in making confident decisions when they approve or defer services, and builds trust in your shop.
A well-structured auto repair receipt is key in fostering trust with your clients and keeping vigilant records.
An Invoice Must Come Before A Receipt
Let’s take a step back. You should provide a receipt to every customer after a payment is made — leaving you and each customer with proof-of-payment records. But before a payment is collected and a receipt is given, you must provide your customer with a detailed invoice.
The good news is that once you nail your invoice template, creating your receipt template is very easy.
Elements Of An Auto Repair Invoice Template
A professional invoice should be clean but detailed. Here is what to include on each invoice:
1. Your Shop’s Information
- Shop name/logo
- Shop address
- Shop contact info
2. Customer’s Information
- Customer’s name
- Customer’s contact information
3. Dates and Reference Numbers
- The date the invoice was issued
- Invoice number
- Corresponding repair order number
4. Vehicle Information
- Vehicle make, model, and year
- License plate number
5. Description of Services Performed
This is where detail is essential. Instead of providing a single line item that encompasses everything, create multiple line items that are as detailed as possible. An itemized invoice aids customers in understanding the work done and the associated expenses. Here’s what to include:
- A comprehensive list of each service performed, such as “brake inspection,” “transmission repair,” and “oil change”
- Labor charges, specifying hours worked, and hourly rates associated with each listed service
6. Descriptive Breakdown of Parts and Materials
Adding this level of transparency ensures customers know where their money is allocated within the repair work.
- Name and description of each part or material used
- The quantity of each part or material
- The unit costs of each part or material
7. Balance Due
- Total cost of labor
- Total cost of parts and materials
- Payment due date
- Accepted payment methods
8. Warranty Information
Clearly stating warranty terms reassures customers about the protection of their investment. Include:
- Terms and duration of any warranties offered on parts or labor
Elements Of An Auto Repair Receipt Template
Auto repair receipts can be nearly identical to your invoice template — making it easy for you and the customer to have both a record of payment and precisely what they paid for in one document. There are just a couple of changes you need to make:
The “Balance Due” section becomes “Balance Paid” and includes:
- The total amount paid for all services, parts, and labor
- Payment method used (credit card, cash, check, etc.)
- The payment date
- Reference numbers or authorization codes for credit card transactions
- Customer signature (for your copy)
Note: If your customer is paying in installments, you must show “Balanced Paid” AND “Remaining Balance Due.”
Consider Invoice Software
Invoicing software can make the creation of invoices and receipts very simple. Check out our blog post: “Auto Repair Invoicing Software — A Guide” (click here).