Franchised dealers have reduced the average price gap between franchised and non-franchised dealerships for servicing and maintenance from 83% in 2006 down to 44.9% in 2014, according to figures from Warranty Direct.
Warranty Direct bases its figures from its customer base.
It said the closing of the gap between franchised dealers and independents is largely due to an increase in the average rate at independent premises, up by 28% from £49.61 in 2006 to £63.56 an hour to 2014. Franchised dealers remained steadier, increasing from £91.07 to £92.11 over the same period.
David Gerrans, Warranty Direct managing director, 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.”
Car ownership costs down 16.5%
The figures from Warranty Direct follow on from data from the AA which shows the cost of running a petrol car worth less than £13,000 has fallen from £2,292 to £1,913 in the last year.
The savings have come from falling insurances premiums, which are down nearly 17% year-on-year and falling petrol prices.
To own a car worth up to £18,000 now costs £3,011, down from £3,350, while a £25,000 car costs £5,070 to own, down from £6,332.