Oct 182011
 

Labour ratesThe escalating cost of motoring continues as mechanics’ rates climb to new heights – soaring above £200 at one dealer – according to Warranty Direct’s annual Labour Rates Survey.

With the average garage labour rate (franchised dealers and independent workshops combined) rising by 7.5%, well above the current 4.5% inflation rate, an hour of a mechanic’s time now costs £80.44, up from £74.82 in 2010.

The survey also revealed franchised dealer workshops to be 57% more expensive on average than their non-franchised counterparts, the widest gap seen for years.

While some car owners will shell out only £35 an hour at the cheapest independent workshops, others pay a staggering £202.21 – the highest labour rate ever seen by Warranty Direct.

The average franchised dealer labour rate is £95.83 (up from £90.59 last year), while independents typically charge £60.68 (£55.90 in 2010).

As well as inflation, part of the franchised dealer price increase could be attributed to discounted fixed-price servicing. This new trend, whereby motorists pay a large up front bill for two, three or four year service bundles, could mean that dealers are funding discounts by charging much more for standard repairs and servicing, and for those who simply break down unexpectedly.

Top 10 most expensive regions for garage labour rates

Region

Average cost for an hour’s labour (£)

Middlesex

98.21

Gwynedd

97.16

Hertfordshire

97.14

Berkshire

93.38

Surrey

91.51

Pembrokeshire

91.34

Bath   & NE Somerset

91.02

London

90.81

Buckinghamshire

90.27

Midlothian

87.93

 

Top 10 least expensive regions for garage labour rates

Region

Average cost for an hour’s labour (£)

Dumfries   & Galloway

54.82

Inverclyde

55.38

West   Lothian

58.31

Renfrewshire

59.17

Clwyd

61.86

County   Durham

63.45

Monmouthshire

64.70

Humberside

64.78

South   Humberside

66.62

Northumberland

66.66

 

Warranty Direct’s survey shows Middlesex to be the most expensive postcode to get cars repaired – charging £98.21 on average. In contrast, those lucky enough to break down in Dumfries and Galloway will usually pay £54.82. The most dramatic year-on-year rises were in Gwent (+26.9%) and East Sussex (+24.3%). Conversely, Manchester benefitted from a near 10% fall in rates on average.

Duncan McClure Fisher of Warranty Direct said: “Drivers might have hoped there’d be some reprieve from the staggering costs of motoring, but no, they’re getting clobbered yet again.

“To think that some workshops are charging in excess of £200 an hour is astounding – that’s equivalent to some people’s weekly wage. Motoring costs are approaching an unsustainable level.

“There’s been a move to push fixed priced service deals, but the knock-on effect is that dealers then charge much more for anybody who isn’t locked in and, once the car is on site, it’s often impractical to find a better price.”

Warranty Direct cover starts from as little as £15 a month. All policies protect against wear & tear, failures caused by uninsured parts and failures found during a service or MOT.

For more information on the reliability of your vehicle, visit www.reliabilityindex.com, or for a quote on cover www.warrantydirect.co.uk.

 

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.