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RMIF slams Warranty Direct survey of car repair labour charges

The latest survey of repair invoices by the Warranty Direct company, apparently showing that a third of garages charged for more time to carry out repairs than is indicated in manufacturers’ repair data, has been condemned as inaccurate by the Retail Motor Industry Federation.

The Warranty Diret report said: “Of 125 garages knowingly questioned by trained engineers at the warranty company, 41 (33%) were willing to charge more than the manufacturer’s official repair times.”

Matthew Carrington, chief executive of the RMIF, said: “We condemn any garage that overcharges its customers - however, this survey is misleading and does no favours for the consumer or the retail motor industry.”

“There are quotes for 136 repairs on different vehicles, which total 387 hours of repair time. On close inspection, the total level of perceived overcharging is 12.5% above the manufacturers' official repair times. This result hardly calls for sensationalist reporting.”

Carrington said that in many cases, a manufacturer's repair time is only a guideline, and may not allow sufficient time for fault diagnosis, or for the repair to be carried out. Furthermore, older vehicles with higher mileage will invariably require a longer repair time.

“As an insurance intermediary within the automotive market - and therefore an active player within the motor industry - shouldn't Warranty Direct be encouraging confidence in the service and repair sector, rather than continuing to scaremonger consumers with risible statistics?” said Carrington.

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