Australian Motor Body
Repairers Association (AMBRA)
A National Industry Sector Committee of the Motor Trades Association of Australia
  • The MTAA /AMBRA Cost Calculator is a spreadsheet tool based on the Microsoft Excel Program.
  • General instructions regarding its use are contained in the opening page of the calculator.
  • The various versions of the Cost Calculator tool have been undergoing user testing across the nation for some months.
  • The MTAA /AMBRA Cost calculator replaces other tools that may have been individually provided by MTAs and Automobile Chambers of Commerce.
  • The Cost Calculator has been independently assessed by prominent national business advisory and accountancy firm BDO.
  • The Australian Tax Office has also reviewed the calculator and suggestions and input have been incorporated into the release version.
  • The use of the calculator tool is voluntary and is not a prerequisite of membership of an MTA or Automobile Chambers of Commerce. It is designed to assist motor body repair business owners with an essential foundation tool in determining a reasonable ‘shop’ or business rate by identifying the actual costs of the business.
  • Arrange to have your local MTA or Automobile Chamber of Commerce Representative walk you through the fundamentals of the cost calculator. If you are unsure of the data that should be inputted then seek the advice or your accountant or financial adviser to assist in completing the calculator.
  • Verify important information that may be peculiar to your State or Territory such as recreation and long service leave entitlements and any loadings on such entitlements, superannuation arrangements etc.
  • Gather necessary information and data required to input into the cost calculator. Where such information is not known or not available, seek advice from your financial adviser, accountant, or business advisor.
  • Ensure all data is transparent, honest and is inputted correctly. ‘Guesstimates’ or assumptions of costs inputted will ultimately produce a total business cost that is potentially flawed and therefore cannot be justified or result in the veracity or transparency of the business costs and ultimately the charge rate being called into question. This will be difficult to defend in the awarding of work or any disputation that might arise.
  • Be realistic. For example: including a profit margin that is two, three, four, times the known norm or accepted general levels of accepted profitability, is likely to negatively impact the effectiveness of the calculator and its use in determining a competitive rate for your type of business.
  • There should be no collaboration between motor body repair business owners / operators in the use of, or input of data to the Cost Calculator. Any action or activity including comparative discussion etc. could be in potential breach of cartel conduct and other provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act. The Cost Calculator is for individual business use only.
  • It is important to note that this is a tool designed to provide assistance. It does not replace or curtail the need of a body repair business owner / operator to seek independent financial or accountancy advice. MTAA Members, AMBRA, or their staff are not able to provide financial advice or assist in the input of data into the calculator tool other than the provision of information such as superannuation rates, award pay, entitlements, etc.
  • If a body repair business owner /operator is unsure on the input data for the Cost Calculator then then should seek advice from their financial adviser or accountant including using the Calculator with them.
  • Feedback is welcomed. Please forward any concerns or difficulties to your local MTA or Automobile Chamber of Commerce Representative or by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

January 2018