Aug 102006
 

Repair BillsThe cheapest and most expensive garages in Britain

London is officially the most expensive place in Britain to get your car fixed with garages charging up to £170 an hour, a new report revealed today.

According to the 2006 Warranty Direct Garage Labour Rates Survey, which compares franchised and independent garages, British motorists fork out an average of £72.28 an hour for a mechanic’s time – with the Capital topping the table at an average of £86.51 or £116.53 if you opt for a franchised dealer.

Across franchised dealers, the national average jumps to £91.07, and falls to £49.61 for independent workshops. The most expensive dealer over the past twelve months charged £170.61 an hour, with one independent billing a customer £117.45.

Oxfordshire proved to be the most expensive region as far as independent garages were concerned. It recorded an average of £67.20 an hour, more than twice as much as the comparable rates for Lanarkshire, Scotland (£32.12).

Similarly, the £116.53 an hour being charged by franchised dealers in London to carry out repairs was almost 60 percent more than the cheapest region, Cornwall (£70.34).

Five Most Expensive Regions For Franchised Dealers

Region

Average Labour Rate

Max Labour Rate Recorded

London

£116.53

£170.61

Middlesex

£110.54

£158.63

Hertfordshire

£108.15

£158.63

Surrey

£99.76

£141.61

Warwickshire

£97.86

£122.20

Five Least Expensive Regions For Franchised Dealers

Region

Average Labour Rate

Max Labour Rate Recorded

Cornwall

£70.34

£93.94

Angus

£70.51

£74.03

Cumbria

£72.45

£99.88

North Yorkshire

£73.03

£102.93

Aberdeenshire

£74.02

£95.32

The nationwide analysis of over 3,000 workshops by aftermarket warranty provider, Warranty Direct, discovered that the £100 an hour barrier was breached in eight out of ten regions (52 were examined in total). Even Lanarkshire, which recorded the lowest rates for independents, delivered a £112.80 per hour charge for one of its franchised dealers.

“After a couple of years of excessive rises, mechanic labour rates have started to stabilise but it’s obvious that there is still a major gulf between regions, and independent and franchised garages,” says Duncan McClure Fisher, spokesman for Warranty Direct.

The disparity between franchised and dealer labour rates is perhaps starkest in the West Midlands where the average is £66.35 an hour, but as high as £117.45 (franchised) or as low as just £23.50 (independent) – the cheapest recorded.

 

Five Most Expensive Regions For Independent Workshops

Region

Average Labour Rate

Max Labour Rate Recorded

Oxfordshire

£67.20

£76.38

Hertfordshire

£64.52

£82.25

East Sussex

£62.54

£70.50

Cambridgeshire

£62.48

£76.38

Middlesex

£62.48

£86.36

 

Five Least Expensive Regions For Independent Workshops

Region

Average Labour Rate

Max Labour Rate Recorded

Lanarkshire

£32.12

£44.65

Ayrshire

£33.68

£41.13

Angus

£36.72

£44.65

Somerset

£37.92

£44.06

Staffordshire

£38.69

£46.41

“The latest findings show that garage rates are still extortionate, but motorists can help themselves by asking how much they charge an hour. Unfortunately, once you get the bill, it’s too late to yell,” adds McClure Fisher.

All rates include VAT.

For the full report visit www.reliabilityindex.co.uk

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