Fleet News

Garage labour rates hit as much as £230 an hour

mechanic under car

The maximum cost of an hour’s work for a garage mechanic now stands at more than £230, according to a nationwide study by automotive service and repair start-up Motoreasy.

Overall, the UK average labour rate – combining main dealers, independent workshops and fast-fit outlets – is £67 an hour.

Analysis of 6,000 garages from across the UK found that, on average, Surrey is the most expensive place to have work done to your car, with an average hourly rate of just over £81. At the other end of the scale, Scottish county Selkirkshire has the cheapest average at £49.69.

The highest individual hourly labour rate of £234 an hour was found at a prestige sportscar manufacturer’s dealership in Reading. The cheapest, offered by an independent workshop in Manchester, was just £36.

The list of the top 10 most expensive regions of the UK is dominated by areas in the south with London the second-most expensive place for labour rates behind Surrey.

Meanwhile, the list of the 10 cheapest regions features mostly Scottish and Welsh counties, indicating a clear north/south divide.

The 10 most expensive labour rates by region

Region

Average hourly labour rate

Surrey

£81.07

London

£77.42

Worcestershire

£77.16

Berkshire

£76.77

Buckinghamshire

£76.65

Middlesex

£75.86

Hertfordshire

£75.40

Kent

£74.81

East Sussex

£72.72

Bedfordshire

£72.35

The 10 cheapest labour rates by region

Region

Average hourly labour rate

Selkirkshire

£49.69

Shetland

£53.25

Inverness

£55.81

Caithness

£56.10

Outer Hebrides

£56.10

Gwent

£56.19

North Humberside

£56.27

County Durham

£56.99

Renfrewshire

£57.00

Powys

£58.20

Franchised workshops are generally more expensive, with an average UK labour rate of £99 compared with an independent garage average of £56, a difference of over 40%.

Despite the ever-increasing cost of service, maintenance and repair work in garages, Motoreasy found that more than three quarters of motorists (77%) admit they have no idea how much they pay for an hour of labour. 

More than three in five (62%) say they don’t shop around to get the best price before agreeing to work and, alarmingly, nearly a third (31%) don’t even check the final bill before paying.

Female motorists are worse than men for not checking what labour rate they are paying, with more than four in five women admitting they don’t know the hourly cost at their regular garage.

Duncan McClure Fisher, Motoreasy founder, said: “Today’s drivers don’t have the time or, in many cases, the knowledge to make absolutely sure they are getting the best price from garages.

“It’s not made any easier by the fact that the cost of labour differs so vastly across the UK. Even so, anyone spending money should at least understand how much they are paying and for what.”

However the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) says that the hourly price of a service is not the true way of measuring value. “The franchised dealer network has highly trained skilled engineers who place safety and the quality of service above the hourly cost," said Sue Robinson, NFDA director. "The hourly rate, measured in the motoreasy survey does not equate to final bill and is not reflective of the final cost of service.

“An unqualified engineer, charging an hourly rate, may take longer to service a vehicle as a result of not having access to the manufacturer, the specialist equipment and the added FOC services such as software updates."

In the recent Spring 2017 NFDA Consumer Attitude Survey, it was revealed that the average final service price difference between franchised dealers, independent garages and non-franchised national chains was only £20. In addition 67% of consumers thought franchised dealers represented good value for money. 

Overall average labour rate by area

 

Fast fit labour rate average by area

Area

Average Labour Rate (Inc VAT)

 

Area

Average Labour Rate (Inc VAT)

Surrey

81.07

 

Aberdeenshire

77.50

London

77.42

 

Gloucestershire

77.50

Worcestershire

77.16

 

Bedfordshire

77.50

Berkshire

76.77

 

Gwent

77.50

Buckinghamshire

76.65

 

Shropshire

77.50

Middlesex

75.86

 

Somerset

77.50

Hertfordshire

75.40

 

Worcestershire

77.50

Kent

74.81

 

Staffordshire

76.33

East Sussex

72.72

 

Dorset

75.75

Bedfordshire

72.35

 

Northamptonshire

75.75

Oxfordshire

71.79

 

East Sussex

74.86

Essex

71.72

 

West Glamorgan

74.50

Wiltshire

70.70

 

Hertfordshire

74.40

Hampshire

70.63

 

Avon

74.37

West Midlands

69.06

 

Cumbria

74.00

Gloucestershire

68.96

 

Dumfries and Galloway

74.00

Suffolk

67.94

 

Stirlingshire

74.00

Cheshire

67.32

 

Leicestershire

74.00

Tyne and Wear

66.76

 

West Midlands

73.57

Northamptonshire

66.22

 

Essex

73.52

Dorset

65.96

 

South Yorkshire

72.14

Lincolnshire

65.85

 

South Glamorgan

71.35

Shropshire

65.44

 

Hampshire

71.31

Somerset

65.35

 

London

71.04

Avon

64.85

 

Middlesex

70.56

Angus

64.42

 

Derbyshire

70.40

Dumfries and Galloway

63.74

 

Wiltshire

70.33

Derbyshire

63.67

 

Kent

70.28

Cleveland

63.58

 

West Yorkshire

70.14

North Yorkshire

63.37

 

Berkshire

69.76

Midlothian

63.37

 

Suffolk

69.60

Ayrshire

62.90

 

Norfolk

69.60

Norfolk

62.88

 

Oxfordshire

69.60

South Yorkshire

62.87

 

North Yorkshire

68.57

Leicestershire

62.82

 

North Humberside

68.00

Nottinghamshire

62.57

 

Lincolnshire

68.00

Devon

62.50

 

Cambridgeshire

67.76

Lanarkshire

62.43

 

Buckinghamshire

67.67

Cambridgeshire

62.26

 

Clwyd

67.50

Staffordshire

62.06

 

Midlothian

66.80

Cornwall

61.80

 

Devon

66.74

Lancashire

61.64

 

Inverness

66.74

Clwyd

61.41

 

Surrey

66.52

West Glamorgan

61.07

 

Nottinghamshire

66.36

Herefordshire

60.84

 

Cheshire

66.28

Merseyside

60.64

 

Lancashire

65.37

West Yorkshire

60.62

 

Angus

65.00

Aberdeenshire

60.48

 

County Durham

65.00

Fife

60.44

 

Tyne and Wear

65.00

Stirlingshire

60.21

 

Cornwall

65.00

Perthshire

59.59

 

Cleveland

65.00

Belfast

59.06

 

Lanarkshire

64.00

Cumbria

58.59

 

Merseyside

63.71

South Glamorgan

58.29

 

Renfrewshire

60.53

Powys

58.20

 

Ayrshire

55.99

Renfrewshire

57.00

 

Fife

55.99

County Durham

56.99

 

Perthshire

55.99

North Humberside

56.27

 

Belfast

54.00

Gwent

56.19

 

Grand Total

69.52

Outer Hebrides

56.10

 

*

 

Caithness

56.10

     

Inverness

55.81

     

Shetland Islands

53.25

     

Selkirkshire

49.69

     

Grand Total

67.14

     

 

Independent labour rate average by area

 

Franchised labour rate average by area

Area

Average Labour Rate (Inc VAT)

 

Area

Average Labour Rate (Inc VAT)

Surrey

69.02

 

London

127.16

London

68.32

 

Middlesex

126.88

Middlesex

66.74

 

Surrey

121.34

Berkshire

66.42

 

Buckinghamshire

109.02

Hertfordshire

65.77

 

Cheshire

107.85

Buckinghamshire

65.67

 

Hertfordshire

107.65

Bedfordshire

65.04

 

Essex

107.28

East Sussex

63.64

 

Kent

106.60

Kent

62.86

 

Berkshire

106.37

Hampshire

62.07

 

West Midlands

104.75

Worcestershire

61.68

 

Hampshire

104.28

Essex

61.28

 

Gwent

103.73

Oxfordshire

60.20

 

Oxfordshire

103.70

Belfast

58.34

 

Shropshire

103.37

Dorset

57.90

 

Wiltshire

102.99

Wiltshire

57.88

 

Worcestershire

102.91

Gloucestershire

57.76

 

Somerset

102.71

Dumfries and Galloway

57.69

 

East Sussex

101.34

Northamptonshire

57.67

 

Merseyside

100.84

Outer Hebrides

56.10

 

Aberdeenshire

99.73

Cheshire

55.78

 

Suffolk

99.30

Avon

55.66

 

Gloucestershire

98.91

Cambridgeshire

55.07

 

Staffordshire

97.93

Staffordshire

55.03

 

Dorset

97.80

West Midlands

54.98

 

South Glamorgan

97.74

Aberdeenshire

54.96

 

Derbyshire

96.90

Derbyshire

54.91

 

Leicestershire

95.85

Clwyd

54.70

 

Nottinghamshire

95.78

Perthshire

54.60

 

Tyne and Wear

95.43

Leicestershire

54.32

 

Avon

95.08

Somerset

54.26

 

West Glamorgan

94.13

Suffolk

54.19

 

Herefordshire

94.11

Cornwall

53.78

 

Devon

94.08

Shetland Islands

53.25

 

Lincolnshire

93.73

Devon

53.10

 

West Yorkshire

92.96

North Yorkshire

52.90

 

North Yorkshire

92.40

Nottinghamshire

52.88

 

Cambridgeshire

92.29

Caithness

52.80

 

Norfolk

91.45

Midlothian

52.57

 

Lancashire

91.37

Tyne and Wear

52.43

 

Angus

91.20

Lanarkshire

52.14

 

Northamptonshire

90.60

Gwent

52.09

 

South Yorkshire

89.98

Shropshire

51.95

 

Midlothian

89.50

County Durham

51.93

 

Fife

88.41

Ayrshire

51.68

 

Bedfordshire

86.53

Lancashire

51.67

 

Lanarkshire

86.30

West Yorkshire

51.55

 

Clwyd

85.51

North Humberside

51.53

 

Ayrshire

84.69

Merseyside

51.23

 

Cornwall

84.26

South Glamorgan

51.23

 

Cumbria

82.96

Herefordshire

51.14

 

Cleveland

82.83

Angus

50.97

 

Renfrewshire

80.90

West Glamorgan

50.91

 

Dumfries and Galloway

79.80

South Yorkshire

50.90

 

Inverness

77.30

Fife

50.88

 

Stirlingshire

76.30

Norfolk

50.85

 

North Humberside

74.10

Lincolnshire

50.72

 

Perthshire

74.10

Powys

50.40

 

Belfast

72.00

Inverness

49.53

 

Selkirkshire

71.83

Stirlingshire

49.33

 

County Durham

69.96

Renfrewshire

48.43

 

Caithness

66.00

Cleveland

46.69

 

Powys

66.00

Cumbria

46.30

 

Grand Total

99.03

Selkirkshire

44.58

     

Grand Total

56.91

     

 

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Comments

  • Major Service - 03/05/2017 11:32

    SMR costs, excluding tyres, have actually been falling for a number of years. Whilst of some interest this is also a survey of retail labour rates, with most retail customers being primarily interested in the job cost/headline figure and not labour rate. At the risk of stating the obvious fleet rates agreed with franchised dealerships are considerably lower and have remained fairly consistent in recent years.

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