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Garage 'Labour' Rates Hit £200 an Hour

Wed, 03 Sep 2008
The same week the SMMT has launched its OFT approved Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair against 'rip off' garages, Warranty Direct has published its latest data on garage labour rates.

According to Warranty Direct, labour rates for mechanics nationwide have increased 11.3 percent since the summer of 2006 to £75.17 an hour on average. At the same time, prices at independent garages have risen the sharpest to narrow the gap with the traditionally more expensive franchised dealer networks.

The average franchised dealer is charging £94.70 an hour today compared to £87.91 in 2006 – up 7.7 percent. In comparison, the average rate for a mechanic at an independent garage has leaped by 14.9 percent over the same period – from £48.43 to £55.63.

Warranty Direct analysed labour rates at nearly 2,000 garages to highlight the dramatic price differences that occur across the country.

Greater London is the most expensive region at £94.26 an hour (average of franchised and independent), which falls to £68.70 for the City of Edinburgh, £78.81 across Merseyside and a similar figure of £78.01 for Cornwall.

The Capital was also home to the most expensive dealer, charging £198.86 an hour.

Duncan McClure Fisher, managing director of Warranty Direct, warns that labour rates are likely to continue to rise in the current climate.

“This is not great news for motorists who are already feeling the pinch at the pumps.

“Car sales are falling, used car residuals are falling, and people are putting off that annual service. As economic conditions worsen, prices could rise further to compensate the general downward trend.”

The most expensive hourly rate found by Warranty Direct was £198.86

More on Warranty Direct at www.warrantydirect.co.uk

More on the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair at www.motorindustrycodes.co.uk

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