Just for the record so to speek here in Southern California a dealer might charge 130 per hour, the technician might make 20 -25 per hour. A service as described might pay him 0.8 of an hour ay 20 bucks so thats 16 dollars pay for what will take him around an hour as he isn't paid to get the car from the storage area or get the parts to fixit with. He is most assuradly not paid to do all the paperwork required anymore. He may have spent 15 years learning his skill and up to 30000 dollars in schooling not to mention the tool box required to work on these cars which is around 20000 when done. If you pencil it out the compensation isn't all that good for the level of knowledge and effort to do the job. If the only time an owner takes his car to a trained technician is with a real problem then he or she never gets to make an easy dollar, it's all hard and thats why a majority of seasoned techs. like myself have gone on to other venues. I am currently building Hot Rods in So Cal once again having the respect of those few that can afford it. Just a thought.
You don't need to take your car for what you call "an easy dollar". For the mechanic is the same, for the dealership is not. Your points about mechanic's earnings are valid to a certain extent, particularly for honest people conscious of the service they give. But, as you computed his costs by adding his tools, you have to add all the indirect expenses the shop carries: space (rent/taxes), equipment (capital, amortization, maintenance, replacement), utilities (electricity, phone, water, sewer, services), materials and supplies (eg: welding electrodes, software, shop towels...), indirect labor (cleaning, security, billing, etc.), wages, insurance and taxes. So, when you purchase a manufactured item that costs $5.00, you are probably getting $.50 in materials and labor, the rest is indirect expenses, and profit throughout the distribution chain. I believe the Standard Book Time for the different chores has an allowance for indirect costs, which would explain why indys do charge less than dealers, but some get away with murder, as our Canadian pal said on this thread. The $59.95 charged by the California dealership for an oil change using Mobil 1 European Formula 0W40, a fleece filter, topping off all fluids, and lending a car for a day HAS TO BE a loss leader, or they are not doing what they say. When I take a vehicle to get work done, I would not leave it without an acceptable estimate (in writing on the work order if it is people I don't know). Don't get taken, get even.