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Using independent garages nearly halves costs

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Visiting an independent garage could cost £40 an hour less, on average, than visiting a franchise dealer, according to recent information released by the Independent Garage Association (IGA).

The IGA polled more than 2,000 of its members on their labour rates and has concluded that independent garages “continue to offer motorists the very best value for money”.

Enabling all UK motorists to find a ‘trusted’ local independent garage was one of the key reasons the IGA launched its UK-wide Trust My Garage scheme.

Figures from the poll show that the average labour cost is slightly over £40 for independent garages, the lowest being £32 in Northern Ireland and the highest being £48 in the south and south east.

In contrast, the most recent Warranty Direct annual Labour Rates survey demonstrates that average labour rates for franchise garages stand at a national average of £95.94 with some franchised dealers charging £55.94 an hour more than independents. 

Of the IGA survey respondents, only two independent garages in the UK were charging a fee close to £90 per hour with the vast majority charging less than £50 per hour.

Location also plays a part in the figures and when reviewing labour rates by county, the five lowest prices were recorded as £34 in Cambridgeshire, £35 in Herefordshire, £36 in Staffordshire and Leicestershire and £37 in Cumbria.

The five highest labour rates by county were recorded in London, Surrey, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Hertfordshire and Kent but all these garages still recorded average labour figures below £60.

Stuart James, director of the RMI’s Independent Garage Association, commented: “With the costs associated with owning a vehicle continually rising, it is fantastic to see that independent garages are continuing to offer motorists outstanding value for money.”

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