Repairs and services

Automotive repair dealers perform repairs and services essential to helping consumers maintain and repair their vehicles. In all transactions, automotive repair dealers must comply with the Automotive Repair Act (Act) and related laws and regulations. At its core, the Act establishes requirements for automotive repair transactions between auto shops and consumers. It also establishes requirements and standards for certain repairs and services to help automotive repair dealers ensure the quality and safety of their work.

Write It Right: Documentation and authorization

Automotive repair dealers must provide an estimate and obtain authorization from the consumer before beginning any repairs, obtain additional authorization if additional repairs are needed, and provide a final invoice describing all repairs performed and parts provided in terms the consumer can understand. For helpful quick-reference information on these requirements and other obligations relating to automotive repair transactions, check out BAR’s Write It Right. A longstanding resource for licensees, Write It Right—available as an online guide—covers estimates, authorization, invoices, and more. You can also request a Write It Right presentation by a BAR representative for your next staff meeting or event.

Write It Right 

Accepted trade standards

The California Code of Regulations (CCR) establishes accepted trade standards for performing repairs or services specifically relating to:

  • Air conditioning (CCR § 3366)

  • Auto body and frame repairs (CCR § 3365)

  • Automatic transmissions (CCR § 3361.1)

  • Ball joints (CCR §§ 3360.1, 3360.2, 3360.3)

  • Engine changes (CCR § 3362.1)

  • Ignition interlock devices (CCR §§ 3363.1, 3363.2, 3363.3, 3363.4)

  • Inflatable restraint systems/airbags (CCR § 3367)

  • Towing services (CCR §3368)

  • Vehicle identification information (CCR § 3364)

  • Windshields (CCR § 3365.1)

Learn more about accepted trade standards

Storage and towing fees

Effective January 1, 2024, Assembly Bill 1263 (Berman, Chapter 681, Statutes of 2023) authorizes BAR to adopt regulations to clarify its authority to regulate storage and towing fees charged by automotive repair dealers consistent with provisions of the Vehicle Code, Civil Code, and any related regulations of the California Department of Insurance. Guidance information is available to help support automotive repair dealers while the regulation process is ongoing.

Learn more about charging storage and towing fees

Ignition interlock device services

Automotive repair dealers who install, maintain, or service ignition interlock devices must meet specific standards in accordance with Business and Professions Code section 9882.14 and CCR section 3363.4. In addition, automotive repair dealers performing ignition interlock device services have a responsibility to inform consumers of reduced fee assistance information.

Learn more about ignition interlock device installation services