Industry sector:

Car alarm fitter: Pricing policy


When considering your pricing policy, remember that you must be able to cover your costs, overheads and drawings (the amount you take from the business). But you'll also need to bear in mind that fitting car alarms and accessories is a competitive marketplace and you may have to price in line with other local firms unless you are targeting a niche market that they do not cater for.

Fitting charges

Most car alarm fitters set a fixed price for installing a basic alarm, immobiliser or in-car entertainment system. A higher charge may be made for fitting more sophisticated systems (for example those with ultrasonic movement sensors). Such a system might take four or five hours to fit and a customer might typically be charged £150 or more (excluding the cost of the alarm system).

Some car owners may be tempted to fit a security system themselves in order to save money. It's a good idea to let customers know that insurance companies may offer drivers a reduced premium if a Thatcham approved alarm is fitted, but this will only apply if it is installed by an approved installer.

Parts

The price of a security system will vary depending on its specification. The charge made to the customer is usually the cost price of the system increased by a certain amount (for example 10% or 20%). However, the amount that you charge a customer for a system will be fixed to a certain extent by the going rate elsewhere - customers will not pay over the odds for a system that they can get easily from one of your competitors.

Other charges

If a car is to be collected from and returned to a customer's home or workplace, then a separate charge is often made for this. The exact amount you decide to charge may depend on the going rate, so check to see what your competitors charge. You might also supply and fit other accessories or carry out fault diagnosis and repairs to security systems. The time taken and hence the charge made will vary from job to job.

Consider how often you will review your prices and whether you will offer discounts (for example reduced rates to trade customers) or special offers and so on.

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