Garage labour rates hit record £215 per hour

RMIF member garage search
11 Jun, 2014 12:01am Chris Ebbs

Average costs across all franchised and non-franchised workshops on the up

The maximum cost of an hour's labour at a mechanic's workshop has hit a new record figure of £215, according to Warranty Direct's annual labour rates study.

Overall the cost of the the UK's average labour rate, for main and non-franchised dealers combined, currently sits at £74.33. 

• Speeding motorists could face £10,000 fines 

The study, which looked at more than 10,000 cases, found that London is the most expensive place to fix a car, at an average £91.99 an hour - a three per cent rise on 2013. And the priciest £215 bill was also found in the capital at a franchised workshop in West London. This was the highest rate ever recorded in the 11 years that Warranty Direct has been carrying out the study. It also found two other garages that were charging more than £200 per hour for work.

The South East dominated the top ten most expensive regions, with Surrey in second place at £85.83 and Middlesex the third costliest at £85.17. At the other end of the table it was the North of England and Scotland made up the majority of the least expensive places to fix a car.

UK's cheapest garage labour rates

The cheapest average rate was £58.46 per hour in Angus in Scotland. This was followed by East Lothian at £60.28, while County Durham was the third cheapest at £62.45. 

Meanwhile, the gap between the cost of the franchised and non-franchised has also closed dramatically. In 2006 the gap was a massive 84 per cent. However, in 2014 that gap had closed to 45 per cent.

Warranty Direct managing director, David Gerrans, said; “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.”

Do you think the cost of repairing your car is too expensive? Tell us in the comments section below...

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There is no way charges like that can be justified

Look at labour rates in France and often its worth a day trip over there.

And they wonder why main dealers are called "stealers"..

I have no sympathy for anyone who takes their car to a dealer who charges £215 for an hour's labour. You'd probably save money driving from west london to scotland and back.

They wouldn't need to, I use two garages on the Norfolk/Suffolk border which are both under £40 and hour and have done pretty good jobs with all my cars.

I learnt my lesson the hard way with main dealers, they gave me one price and tried to charge me another when I got there. Hammered them down to just above the local garage price for that one occasion and never went back!

There's no way I'm paying £80+ p/h when someone can still earn a decent wage at £33. Why should I subsidise a bunch of superfluous directors?

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