Fleet News

Garage labour reaches record high of £215 an hour

The maximum cost of an hour of a garage mechanic’s time has reached an unprecedented new high of £215, according to Warranty Direct’s annual labour rates study.

Overall, the UK’s average labour rate, for main dealer and non-franchised workshops combined, stands at £74.33. Data from more than 10,000 cases was analysed.

Of the 67 counties included in the study, London is the most expensive place to fix a car, at an average £91.99 an hour (franchised and non-franchised garages combined).

The highest individual hourly garage labour rate can also be found in the capital.

One franchised workshop in West London was found to be charging £215 an hour, the highest rate ever recorded by Warranty Direct in the 11 years of the study. Two other garages were billing at more than £200 an hour.

The South East dominated the top 10 dearest regions, with Surrey and Middlesex taking second and third positions.

Only South Glamorgan in Wales – a county which includes the city of Cardiff – was not a region surrounding London.

The North of England and Scotland made up the majority of the least expensive places to fix your car, with County Antrim in Northern Ireland and Cornwall in the South West completing the most frugal 10.

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

REGION

AVERAGE COST FOR AN HOUR’S LABOUR (£)

% DIFFERENCE TO 2013

London

£91.99

3.0%

Surrey

£85.83

1.7%

Middlesex

£85.17

2.5%

South Glamorgan

£83.43

10.0%

Berkshire

£81.75

1.7%

Kent

£80.81

1.6%

Essex

£80.63

-0.5%

Hertfordshire

£80.62

-0.4

Buckinghamshire

£79.51

-0.9%

West Sussex

£77.76

2.4%

Top 10 least expensive regions for garage labour rates (franchised and non-franchised combined)

REGION

AVERAGE COST FOR AN HOUR’S LABOUR (£)

% DIFFERENCE TO 2013

Angus

£58.46

-5.8%

East Lothian

£60.28

-6.2%

County Durham

£62.45

-9.2%

Ayrshire

£65.18

-2.8%

Humberside

£65.32

-3.5%

North Yorkshire

£65.43

-3.1%

County Antrim

£65.69

-3.7%

South Yorkshire

£65.98

-5.1%

Cumbria

£66.34

-6.7%

Cornwall

£66.45

2.9%

The biggest risers and fallers were Cleveland in the North East, where average bills were up 15% year-on-year and Warwickshire, which saw rates drop by 10%. The average price change across the country was a 0.29% increase.

The price gap between franchised and non-franchised was also evaluated. In this year’s study, the average main dealer hourly rate (£92.11) was 44.9% more than the average non-franchised rate (£63.56).

In 2006, franchised premises were 83% dearer than non-franchised, meaning that the price gap between main dealers and independent garages has closed up by almost 40% over eight years.

Warranty Direct claims this is largely due to an increase in the average rate at independent premises, up from £49.61 in 2006 to £63.56 an hour to 2014, whilst main dealers have remained more steady, increasing from £91.07 to £92.11 over the same period.

Price difference between non-franchised & franchised (2006-2014)

2006

+83.57%

2007

+78.91%

2008

+70.23%

2009

+60.71%

2010

+62.06%

2011

+57.93%

2012

+48.56%

2013

+44.22%

2014

+44.9%

Warranty Direct managing director David Gerrans said: “While labour rates remain fairly steady, London continues to set new benchmarks for the cost of getting car repairs, with a jaw-dropping rate from one garage that would have many motorists rubbing their eyes in disbelief.

“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.”

 

 

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Comments

  • Patriot - 11/06/2014 12:51

    What sort of fool pays £215 p/h for labour? I would suggest this particular workshop caters for the More Money Than Brains brigade. Once a vehicle is out of warranty there is no excuse not to use a good independent workshop where you'll find lower parts prices and lower labour rates. In South Yorkshire-part of God's Own County- no garage (including Main Dealers) can or will survive with sky high labour rates (See panel above) We vote with our feet.

  • Jim.Scott - 11/06/2014 13:13

    What a load of rubbish Machanical rate in Glasgow for non franchise repairers tops at £45.00 per hour Bodyworl Labour rates go as low as £23.90 per hour for most of your accident management suppliers

  • DH - 11/06/2014 14:52

    I'm interested in knowing how you identified counties? You have Middlesex and London listed, but all of Middlesex is now technically London - so which is which? do they overlap? Can you publish your workings?

  • Darren - 12/06/2014 11:46

    "One franchised workshop in West London was found to be charging £215 an hour", "Two other garages were billing at more than £200 an hour." Should have named and shamed. It's always good to know where not to shop!

  • Sian Revell (DRS) - 12/06/2014 18:07

    Oh dear. We started our own company 6 months ago fixing anything from a garden strimmer to a dump truck. We charge half the average hourly rate. I do believe our customers are getting very good value for money. Good article, really brought home how good we are.

  • Laird Assessors - 20/06/2014 13:16

    Incredible to see these retail labour rates when accident repair body-shops tend to charge little more than £40 per hour. Some insurers still pay 'approved' repairers less than £30.

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