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Franchise dealer labour rates 40% more expensive than independents

Franchised dealer labour rates are 40% higher on average than independents according to a new survey.

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.

The 2010 Warranty Direct Labour Rates Survey shows the average franchised dealer labour rate is now £90.59, up from £87.19 a year ago and independents cost £55.90 in comparison to £52.69 in 2009.

The survey has been created using a revised analysis of 3,000 claims managed – both franchised and independent workshops – by Warranty Direct during the past 12 months combined with spot rate checks on garage pricing across the UK.

Despite the national rise, some regions have seen marked falls with Greater London down 2.5%. However, the biggest drops were saved for the north, with Northumberland and Lanarkshire mechanics reducing their hourly charges by 12.7% and 12.6% respectively.

The annual Warranty Direct Labour Rates Survey found Surrey to be the most expensive place to get your car repaired in the UK, with an average cost per hour of £87.59. The highest hourly rate found was a franchised dealer in Hertfordshire charging £190.35.

The least expensive counties are almost exclusively to be found in northern England and Scotland, with the residents of the Isle of Wight and Mid-Glamorgan the exceptions.

Residents of Cardiff and Suffolk are the biggest losers this year; motorists could be forced to pay an additional 19.09% and 22.17% respectively.
Duncan McClure Fisher, Warranty Direct managing director, said: “The once relentless upward march of labour rates appears to have started again after a slight dip last year.

“To avoid paying above inflationary rises, motorists need to shop around, and not be afraid to push their preferred repairer to charge them less.”

Top 10 most expensive regions for garage labour rates

County average cost for an hour’s labour

Surrey £87.59
Middlesex £87.50
Hertfordshire £87.48
Berkshire £84.03
London £83.55
Manchester £80.41
Warwickshire £79.91
Cardiff £79.79
Suffolk £79.77
Essex £79.61

Top 10 least expensive regions for garage labour rates

County average cost for an hour’s labour

Renfrewshire £53.86
Isle of Wight £56.41
County Durham £57.97
Inverness-shire £58.25
Fife £58.39
Clwyd £60.30
Lanarkshire £60.58
Mid Glamorgan £60.74
Angus £63.52
Bedfordshire £64.37


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