Most mechanic shops charge about $60-$80 an hour (1 hour minimum).
I've been told you can make a decent living on it, but you have to keep a good honest reputation and have customers keep coming back (in a good way, not bad way). The more you screw customers, the more you'll have to screw customers just to stay afloat, and word of mouth travels quickly.
I do most work myself (brakes, spark plug changes, suspension), but there's a few things that'll be beyond my reach.
Fortunately, I have a good mechanic shop that was referred to me by a friend and pretty much made me a customer for life on the first visit. He informed that all his new customers are referrals and that he's never had a slow week since he started the business (over 20 years ago).
Yes, most people nowadays would rather pay a repair bill rather than a new car note.
Would you rather pay $500 each month for a new car? That's $6,000.
Or $500 in repairs for a whole year?