Feb 272015
 

The Honda HR-V is the SUV most likely to keep you on the road in winter, according to a study by Warranty Direct.

SUVs and 4x4s now claim 11% of the market – up from 4.5 per cent in 2000* – as motorists are attracted by the prestige, commanding driving position and 4×4 capability of SUVs and 4x4s.

Warranty Direct analysed its 50,000 live policies, using the Company’s unique Reliability Index (www.reliabilityindex.com) to measure overall reliability by combining rate of failure, average mileage, age and repair cost.

Honda’s HR-V (99-06) – available used from just £2,000 – performed significantly better than other SUVs, with only one in 10 recording a fault in the last 12 months. The Suzuki Jimny was second most reliable in the sector, with one in five suffering a breakdown each year.

While the average SUV repair bill is £420, Warranty Direct reports that costs can soar as high as £16,000.

Top 10 rated 4×4/SUVs
(A lower Reliability Index rating means the vehicle is more reliable and less expensive to run)

Top Rated 4x42

The 10 best performing SUVs are dominated by Japanese and Korean manufacturers, although Swedish manufacturer Volvo is cheapest to fix, with the lowest ‘largest claim’ cost of the top 10.

At the other end of the scale, the Mercedes-Benz GL is the least reliable of the off-roaders, with eight in 10 breaking down each year; the Audi Q7 and Audi A6 Allroad are not far behind.

Bottom 5 rated 4×4/SUVs
(A higher Reliability Index rating means the vehicle is less reliable and more expensive to run)

Bottom Rated 4x42

Warranty Direct managing director, David Gerrans, said: “The SUV market segment has developed significantly in recent years. In comparison to some other vehicles, they are fairly expensive to run but our study shows that there are reliable SUVs available which are not too costly.

“Many drivers take pride in ownership of large 4x4s and SUVs, enjoying the superior driving position and practicality of a sizeable vehicle – but motorists can get their hands on one of these for £2,000 or less.

“A 4×4 is most definitely the transport of choice for motorists during winter; they cost a little more to run, but they are more likely to withstand challenging conditions.”

Warranty Direct cover starts from as little as £15 a month. For more information on the reliability of your vehicle, visit www.reliabilityindex.com, or for a quote on cover www.warrantydirect.co.uk.

Jul 012014
 

Markinside

The maximum cost of an hour of a garage mechanic’s time has reached an unprecedented new high of £215, according to Warranty Direct’s annual labour rates study. Overall, the UK’s average labour rate, for main dealer and non-franchised workshops combined, stands at £74.33. Data from more than 10,000 cases was analysed.

Of the 67 counties included in the study, London is the most expensive place to fix a car, at an average £91.99 an hour (franchised and non-franchised garages combined).

The highest individual hourly garage labour rate can also be found in the Capital. One franchised workshop in West London was found to be charging £215 an hour, the highest rate ever recorded by Warranty Direct in the 11 years of the study. Two other garages were billing at more than £200 an hour.

The South East dominated the top 10 dearest regions, with Surrey and Middlesex taking second and third positions. Only South Glamorgan in Wales – a county which includes the city of Cardiff – was not a region surrounding London.

The North of England and Scotland made up the majority of the least expensive places to fix your car, with County Antrim in Northern Ireland and Cornwall in the South West completing the most frugal 10.

Top 10 most expensive regions for garage labour rates (franchised and non-franchised combined)

REGION AVERAGE COST FOR AN HOUR’S LABOUR (£) % DIFFERENCE TO 2013
London

£91.99

3.0%

Surrey

£85.83

1.7%

Middlesex

£85.17

2.5%

South Glamorgan

£83.43

10.0%

Berkshire

£81.75

1.7%

Kent

£80.81

1.6%

Essex

£80.63

-0.5%

Hertfordshire

£80.62

-0.4

Buckinghamshire

£79.51

-0.9%

West Sussex

£77.76

2.4%

 

Top 10 least expensive regions for garage labour rates (franchised and non-franchised combined)

REGION AVERAGE COST FOR AN HOUR’S LABOUR (£) % DIFFERENCE TO 2013
Angus

£58.46

-5.8%

East Lothian

£60.28

-6.2%

County Durham

£62.45

-9.2%

Ayrshire

£65.18

-2.8%

Humberside

£65.32

-3.5%

North Yorkshire

£65.43

-3.1%

County Antrim

£65.69

-3.7%

South Yorkshire

£65.98

-5.1%

Cumbria

£66.34

-6.7%

Cornwall

£66.45

2.9%

 

The biggest risers and fallers were Cleveland in the North East, where average bills were up 15% year-on-year and Warwickshire, which saw rates drop by 10%. The average price change across the country was a 0.29% increase.

The price gap between franchised and non-franchised was also evaluated. In this year’s study, the average main dealer hourly rate (£92.11) was 44.9% more than the average non-franchised rate (£63.56).

In 2006, franchised premises were 83% dearer than non-franchised, meaning that the price gap between main dealers and independent garages has closed up by almost 40% over eight years. This is largely due to an increase in the average rate at independent premises, up from £49.61 in 2006 to £63.56 an hour to 2014, whilst main dealers have remained more steady, increasing from £91.07 to £92.11 over the same period.

Price difference between non-franchised & franchised (2006-2014)

2006 +83.57%
2007 +78.91%
2008 +70.23%
2009 +60.71%
2010 +62.06%
2011 +57.93%
2012 +48.56%
2013 +44.22%
2014 +44.9%

 

“The shrinking price difference between main dealers and non-franchised workshops could be due to the increasing popularity of dearer fast-fits and auto centres that seem to be taking business away from less expensive independents, as well as the advent of manufacturer schemes that offer discounts for older cars and help keep the overall franchised rate down.”Warranty Direct managing director, David Gerrans, said; “While labour rates remain fairly steady, London continues to set new benchmarks for the cost of getting car repairs, with a jaw-dropping rate from one garage that would have many motorists rubbing their eyes in disbelief.

Jun 112014
 
Warranty Direct Labour Rates

Our Warranties Cover 100% of all Labour Costs

The maximum cost per hour for a garage mechanic’s time has reached a remarkable new high of £215, a massive £15 increase since last year annual labour rates study.

The UK’s average labour rate overall for main dealer and non-franchised workshops combined, stands at £74.33. Data that has been analysed from more than 10,000 cases taken over the country.reached a remarkable new high of £215, a massive £15 increase since last year annual labour rates study.

67 counties were included in the study, of which London is the most expensive location to fix a car, with an average of £91.99 per hour (franchised and non-franchised garages combined).

A franchised workshop in West London was found charging £215 per hour; the highest rate ever recorded by Warranty Direct in the 11 years since the study commenced. Two further garages were also found to be billing at more than £200 an hour within the London area.

The top 10 dearest regions were dominated by the South East, with Surrey and Middlesex taking second and third positions. South Glamorgan in Wales was the only county (includes city of Cardiff) that was not a region surrounding London.

The majority of the least expensive garages were made up of places in the North of England and Scotland, with County Antrim in Northern Ireland and Cornwall in the South West completing the most frugal 10.

Top 10 most expensive regions for garage labour rates (franchised and non-franchised combined)

REGION AVERAGE COST FOR AN HOUR’S LABOUR (£) % DIFFERENCE TO 2013
London

£91.99

3.0%

Surrey

£85.83

1.7%

Middlesex

£85.17

2.5%

South Glamorgan

£83.43

10.0%

Berkshire

£81.75

1.7%

Kent

£80.81

1.6%

Essex

£80.63

-0.5%

Hertfordshire

£80.62

-0.4

Buckinghamshire

£79.51

-0.9%

West Sussex

£77.76

2.4%

 

Top 10 least expensive regions for garage labour rates (franchised and non-franchised combined)

REGION AVERAGE COST FOR AN HOUR’S LABOUR (£) % DIFFERENCE TO 2013
Angus

£58.46

-5.8%

East Lothian

£60.28

-6.2%

County Durham

£62.45

-9.2%

Ayrshire

£65.18

-2.8%

Humberside

£65.32

-3.5%

North Yorkshire

£65.43

-3.1%

County Antrim

£65.69

-3.7%

South Yorkshire

£65.98

-5.1%

Cumbria

£66.34

-6.7%

Cornwall

£66.45

2.9%

 

Cleveland in The North East, where average bills were up 15% year-on-year and Warwickshire, which saw rates drop by 10% were the biggest risers and fallers. There was a 0.29% increase in the average price change across the country.

In addition, we evaluated the price gap between franchised and non-franchised. This year, the average main dealer hourly rate (£92.11) was 44.9% higher than the average non-franchised rate (£63.56)

Franchised premises in 2006 were 83% dearer than non-franchised; meaning the price gap between main dealers and independent garages has closed up by almost 40% over the last eight years. An increase in the average rate at independent garages, up from £49.61 in 2006 to £63.56 (28.1% increase) an hour in 2014 has caused this surge in price. Meanwhile, main dealers have been more steady, increasing from £91.07 to £92.11 (1.1% increase) over the same period.

Price difference between non-franchised & franchised (2006-2014)

2006

+83.57%

2007

+78.91%

2008

+70.23%

2009

+60.71%

2010

+62.06%

2011

+57.93%

2012

+48.56%

2013

+44.22%

2014

+44.9%

 

David Gerrans, Warranty Direct managing director, said; while labour rates remain fairly steady, London continues to set new benchmarks for the cost of getting car repairs, with a jaw-dropping rate from one garage that would have many motorists rubbing their eyes in disbelief.

“The shrinking price difference between main dealers and non-franchised workshops could be due to the increasing popularity of dearer fast-fits and auto centres that seem to be taking business away from less expensive independents, as well as the advent of manufacturer schemes that offer discounts for older cars and help keep the overall franchised rate down.”

Warranty Direct (www.warrantydirect.co.uk) is the UK’s leading direct-to-consumer insurer for car, van and bike mechanical and electrical failures.

Mar 192014
 

ElectricsIncreasingly complex electronics are making cars more prone to expensive breakdowns, according to automotive specialist, Warranty Direct.

Electrical faults have increased by two thirds (66%) over the last five years, according to the firm’s unique Reliability Index.com and analysis of cars aged over three years. Electrical faults are the most common across all cars on Warranty Direct’s database of 50,000 policies, with almost a quarter (23%) needing a repair every year.

Meanwhile, the average cost of repairing failures caused by electrical gremlins has also increased by nearly a third (32%) over the same period, to £300*, but can rise as high as £2,804.

While relays and alternators are the most likely components to break, newer electronic innovations like parking sensors are typically amongst the many faults reported.

The 10 most reliable brands for electrics 

Position

Make

Avg   Mileage

Avg   Cost

1

Subaru

55,861.15

£450.67

2

Mitsubishi

51,563.56

£479.67

3

Daihatsu

36,766.75

£432.60

4

Suzuki

38,169.82

£243.90

5

Mazda

46,518.44

£411.38

6

Lexus

52,904.78

£411.25

7

Toyota

49,600.09

£376.35

8

Alfa Romeo

51,249.92

£373.60

9

Nissan

48,057.88

£378.08

10

Jeep

51,291.68

£453.87

Warranty Direct managing director, David Gerrans, said: “As automotive technology continues to advance, cars get more and more complex. Nowhere is that more so than in the field of computer technology and other electronics.

“But, while these advances can undoubtedly improve the performance and safety of cars, they also have a knock-on effect on how often they fail and how much it costs to repair them.

“Workshops now need advanced diagnostic tools to safely and effectively fix cars and, in some cases, it appears only franchised dealers can access some of the systems on newer cars, meaning that the customer is hit with a higher labour rate bill.”

Among the cars most likely to feature a failure are luxury and premium brands, like Porsche and Bentley, while Japanese brands Subaru, Mitsubishi and Daihatsu have the soundest electronics – only one in seven Subaru models suffer gremlins.

The 10 least reliable brands for electrics (worst to best)

Position

Make

Avg   Mileage

Avg   Cost

1

Renault

47,974.64

£264.33

2

Bentley

37,997.56

£670.24

3

Porsche

41,610.21

£757.24

4

Saab

56,296.36

£323.85

5

MG

38,091.87

£405.25

6

Audi

58,196.01

£511.75

7

Mercedes-Benz

54,059.16

£458.69

8

Citroën

47,864.96

£302.94

9

SEAT

51,195.47

£290.62

10

BMW

57,397.98

£432.89

Overall, Subaru electrics cost an average of £450.67 to fix. At the other end of the scale, Renault is the brand most likely to suffer a fault, with more models suffering a fault each year (38%) but a lower repair cost of £264.33. 

*Five year period studied 2008-2013; Exact average cost for 2013 = £291.50

Jan 062011
 

44The cost of getting a mechanic to fix your car is on the rise again, according to the annual Warranty Direct Labour Rates Survey.

With some motorists still being charged up to £190 an hour, the national average cost of garage labour (franchised dealers and independent workshops combined) has risen by 5.81% to £74.82 over the past 12 months.

Continue reading »