Fleet News

Labour rates hit record high

Garage labour rates have risen to a record average of £83 per hour, according to Warranty Direct’s annual Labour Rates Survey.

While the near-record cost of petrol has prompted the Office of Fair Trading to examine the fuel market, Warranty Direct reports that the average labour rate (franchised and independent workshops combined) climbed 3% to £82.86, up from £80.44 in 2011 and over 10% higher than two years ago.

Some drivers pay as little as £36.60 per hour while others, like those in Hertfordshire, could be hit by rates as high as £201.60.

Based on data from Warranty Direct’s 50,000 live policies, the study of nearly 4,250 workshops shows that the amount you pay per hour at smaller, independent workshops has risen the most dramatically, from £60.68 in 2011 to £64.58 in 2012 – a 6.44% rise.

Main dealer labour rates are up fractionally too, standing at an average of £95.94, meaning the gap between independent businesses and main dealers has narrowed further, the latter now charging 48.6% more on average than independents (down from 57% in 2011).

Surrey is the most expensive county to get cars fixed; an hour of a mechanic’s time costs £98.27 on average. Vehicle owners in Powys, Wales, are charged the least, with the average of £58.46 roughly half the Surrey high.

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

Region Average cost for an hour’s labour (£)

(Percentage difference to 2011)

Surrey 98.27 (6.76)
Middlesex 97.19 (-1.02)
Hertfordshire 94.43 (-2.71)
Berkshire 93.27 (-0.11)
London 90.09 (-0.72)
Essex 89.34 (1.53)
Wiltshire 88.55 (11.36)
Cheshire 88.30 (6.95)
South Glamorgan 87.99 (N/A)
Buckinghamshire 86.85 (-3.42)

Cornwall and County Durham saw some of the biggest price hikes, rates were up by 12.96% and 11.97% respectively.

In contrast, drivers in East Yorkshire and Pembrokeshire are benefitting from drops in labour charges of 14.68% and 14.36% respectively.

Duncan McClure Fisher of Warranty Direct said: “Price hikes continue apace in 2012 and we are now at the point that a simple breakdown could cost an eye watering sum to put right.

"Some older cars could even be written off by a relatively straightforward mechanical hiccup, especially if you are among the unfortunate group who pay £150 per hour or more.

“With the cost of petrol and diesel still rocketing, the latest stats will come as a bit of a blow to those expecting rates to have stabilised.

“There is also some evidence that fixed price service deals are being funded by excessive rates for unexpected repairs.”

Top 10 least expensive regions for garage labour rates

Franchised and non franchised combined

Region Average cost for an hour’s labour (£)

(Percentage difference to 2011)

Powys 58.46 (N/A)
Roxburghshire 60.70 (N/A)
County Down 60.80 (N/A)
Dunbartonshire 61.20 (N/A)
West Lothian 61.70 (3.39)
Ceredigion 61.99 (N/A)
Invernesshire 62.12 (-8.99)
Banffshire 62.30 (N/A)
Mid Glamorgan 64.79 (N/A)
Renfrewshire 65.09 (5.92)

 

Average Labour rates by region

Franchised and non franchised combined

Region Average cost for an hour’s labour (£)

(Percentage difference to 2011)

Aberdeenshire 76.03 (3.42)
Anglesey 65.75 (N/A)
Angus 78.82 (6.77)
Ayrshire 81.99 (-1.06)
Banffshire 62.30 (N/A)
Bedfordshire 71.65 (-0.17)
Berkshire 93.27 (-0.11)
Buckinghamshire 86.85 (-3.42)
Cambridgeshire 76.66 (-2.14)
Ceredigion 61.99 (N/A)
Cheshire 88.30 (6.95)
Cornwall 79.74 (12.96)
County Antrim 76.33 (-0.77)
County Armagh 82.58 (N/A)
County Down 60.80 (N/A)
County Durham 75.42 (11.97)
County Tyrone 86.74 (N/A)
Cumbria 82.16 (4.85)
Derbyshire 83.31 (4.62)
Devon 76.01 (2.30)
Dorset 79.26 (4.94)
Dumfriesshire 66.44 (11.62)
Dunbartonshire 61.20 (N/A)
Dyfed 71.80 (3.49)
East Sussex 79.73 (-0.76)
East Yorkshire 72.38 (-14.68)
Essex 89.34 (1.53)
Fife 73.89 (4.60)
Flintshire 66.81 (N/A)
Gloucestershire 79.46 (N/A)
Hampshire 82.08 (0.28)
Herefordshire 82.34 (4.15)
Hertfordshire 94.43 (-2.71)
Invernesshire 62.12 (-8.99)
Inverness-shire 70.49 (N/A)
Isle of Man 71.86 (N/A)
Isle of Wight 66.94 (N/A)
Kent 85.87 (0.53)
Lanarkshire 78.27 (4.45)
Lancashire 77.45 (1.92)
Leicestershire 83.95 (4.94)
Lincolnshire 75.19 (1.36)
London 90.09 (-0.72)
Manchester 81.47 (8.93)
Merioneth 81.94 (N/A)
Merseyside 76.12 (-1.34)
Mid Glamorgan 64.79 (N/A)
Middlesex 97.19 (-1.02)
Midlothian 81.43 (-6.50)
Monmouthshire 81.31 (16.61)
Morayshire 70.27 (N/A)
Norfolk 84.17 (9.83)
North Yorkshire 77.32 (-1.06)
Northamptonshire 80.84 (5.39)
Northumberland 65.22 (-1.44)
Nottinghamshire 80.56 (4.57)
Oxfordshire 83.63 (7.00)
Pembrokeshire 76.98 (-14.36)
Perthshire 83.98 (3.23)
Powys 58.46 (N/A)
Renfrewshire 65.09 (5.92)
Roxburghshire 60.70 (N/A)
Shropshire 77.30 (-1.06)
Somerset 81.44 (8.26)
South Glamorgan 87.99 (N/A)
South Yorkshire 77.96 (7.13)
Staffordshire 76.11 (4.33)
Stirlingshire 72.37 (1.59)
Suffolk 78.94 (-1.17)
Surrey 98.27 (6.76)
Tyne & Wear 81.18 (9.19)
warwickshire 85.53 (2.78)
West Glamorgan 80.82 (3.83)
West Lothian 61.70 (3.39)
West Midlands 77.04 (3.10)
West Sussex 86.38 (3.61)
West Yorkshire 73.85 (0.92)
Wiltshire 88.55 (11.36)
Worcestershire 79.12 (1.35)

Top 10 most expensive regions for franchised garage labour rates

(Franchised workshops only)

County Average (£) Maximum (£)
Middlesex 117.97 192.00
Manchester 112.19 147.60
London 108.81 198.74
Surrey 107.85 168.00
Berkshire 106.57 164.94
South Glamorgan 106.41 138.00
Essex 106.01 172.80
Hertfordshire 105.71 201.60
Monmouthshire 105.12 144.00
Warwickshire 100.53 142.80

Top 10 least expensive regions for franchised garage labour rates

(Franchised workshops only)

County Average (£) Maximum (£)
West Lothian 59.30 72.00
Invernesshire 69.03 75.00
Anglesey 69.82 78.00
Flintshire 70.77 90.00
Dumfriesshire 72.05 103.68
Mid Glamorgan 72.39 118.20
Northumberland 72.42 118.80
Renfrewshire 73.14 129.60
Inverness-shire 75.56 99.60
County Antrim 78.11 138.00
 

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