Who Pays - 1600
May. 03 2022
Who Pays - 375
May. 03 2022

Who Pays for What? survey by
Collision Advice | CRASH Network

When it comes to getting paid for your work, it helps to have the top tools at your disposal. The Who Pays for What? survey shows that ALLDATA continues to be the most popular choice among body shops for researching OEM repair information and procedures. It also reveals how often shops are being compensated for dozens of collision-specific procedures and materials, from seat calibration to sound-deadening. For now, let’s take a closer look at what’s trending for OEM repair information. Next month, we’ll dig into shops’ feedback on pre- and post-repair vehicle “health scans” and DTC research.  

About the survey

Mike Anderson

Mike Anderson
Collision Advice

Who Pays for What? is a series of surveys launched in 2015 by Mike Anderson’s Collision Advice and CRASH Network to help repair facilities better understand how their billing practices differ from other repair facilities, including whether other shops are being paid for procedures their shop may be doing, but for which it is not being compensated.

The Who Pays for What? Scanning & Calibration survey ran from October 1-31, 2021, and asked body shops nationwide to report how often they are paid for a variety of shop repair procedures and shop supplies by the eight largest auto insurers. The other surveys in the series examine procedures related to mechanical repair, body repair operations, and refinish-related procedures.

Use of OEM repair information on the upswing

In 2021, 59% of respondents say they research OEM repair procedures “All or most of the time,” compared to 42.7% in 2015, according to the report.  As vehicles become increasingly complex, this trend reflects the industry’s focus on the absolute necessity of following OEM procedures for safe and accurate vehicle repairs, and to limit liability.

How frequently do you research OEM repair procedures at the time you write an estimate?

  2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
All the time 21.2% 19.9% 21.5% 24.8% 17.4% 17.7% 16.3%
Most of the time 36.5% 32.6% 32.7% 35.7% 31.4% 30.5% 26.4%
Some of the time 26.5% 27.5% 26.5% 24.8% 33% 30.7% 31.9
Only occasionally 13% 15.4% 14.7% 12.7% 15.8% 18% 21.8%
Never 2.8% 4.7% 4.6% 2% 2.4% 3.1% 3.6%


Most body shops use ALLDATA for OEM repair information

Since the Who Pays For What? survey launched in 2015, ALLDATA has been the top choice of auto body shops for online OEM repair information.

For 2021, 73.4% of respondents say they use ALLDATA compared to 52.8% that use OEM information websites, 46.44% that use I-CAR, 43.4% that use CCC, and 13% that use Mitchell.

Which of the following systems do you use to research OEM repair information?

OEM Information Sources 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
ALLDATA 73.4% 72.4% 62.8% 72.4% 68.2% 68.8% 66.6%
Automaker information webites 52.8% 51.5% 59.4% 52.6% 45.4% 36.2% 32.4%
I-CAR’s “Repairability Technical Support” 46.4% 49.8% 55.4% 54.2% 46.6% 40.7% 36.5%
CCC’s “Repair Methods” 43.4% 44.3% 49.2% 45.8% 32.7% 37.6% 36.1%
Mitchell’s “Tech Advisor” 13% 15.7% 14.4% 12.5% 11.5% 10.5 9.9%
Sun 3.2% 1.7%          
Auda Explore’s “TechFocus” .9% .5% 1.6% 3% 1.9% 3.3% 3.7%

(totals more than 100% because multiple selections were allowed)

More shops are getting paid for OEM repair information

When it comes to billing the labor time required for OEM repair information research, 20% of shops are paid “Always” or “Most of the time,” a significant increase from just 6% in 2015.

Anderson notes in the report that he’s “…starting to see a few shops with an employee doing nothing but scanning vehicles and researching OEM repair procedures. I think it will be interesting to watch this moving forward.” Another trend he calls out is shops billing for their labor time based on the number of pages of OEM procedures they had to research.

Response by Insurer

  Always Most of the Time Some of the Time Never Never Asked Responses
Allstate 10.7% 8.9% 23.6% 56.7% 35.8% 508
Farmers 10.2% 9.2% 24.4% 56.3% 38.3% 478
Geico 10.2% 9.3% 21.7% 58.7% 34.9% 510
Liberty Mutual 11.2% 9.3% 24% 55.6% 35.6% 486
Nationwide 11.3% 9.6% 22.9% 56.1% 37% 478
Progressive 9.5% 9.1% 25% 56.4% 36.1% 513
State Farm 9.9% 6.4% 18.7% 64.9% 34.9% 525
USAA 12.1% 9.6% 28.3% 50% 35.7% 501


On billing for your OEM repair information subscription

The survey also asked “Whether or not this location bills for the time to research OEM repair information, do you add a separate line-item charge to cover subscription fees for OEM repair information?”

42% have never passed along a charge for OEM subscription fees, 30% charge only when using websites for which they don’t have an annual subscription, and 23% always (or almost always) include a subscription fee charge.

OEM Subscription Pie Chart

Never passed along a charge for OEM subscription fees (42%)

Charge only when using websites to which we don’t have an annual subscription (30%)

Always (or almost always) include a subscription fee charge (23%)


What’s important to note is that the percentage of shops saying they have never charged for subscription fees has dropped to 42% this year from 51% in 2020 and 57% in 2019.

In other words, more shops are including fees for subscriptions to help recoup costs. And that’s a trend we hope continues to grow..

who pays for what 2021 For past Who Pays for What? survey results or to become a survey participant, visit www.crashnetwork.com/collisionadvice.

Ready to see for yourself why the majority of auto body shops (73.4%) use ALLDATA’s industry-leading OEM repair information? Check out ALLDATA Collision an our integrated technology platform of shop productivity tools.

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