Garage labour rates vary by £160 per-hour, according to new report

Published 26 April 2017

The average cost of having a car repaired at a garage can vary by more than £160 an hour, a new report has found. 

Motoreasy surveyed 6000 garages across the UK and found huge variations in how much motorists pay, with one mechanic in Reading charging as much as £234 per-hour. In comparison, the cheapest, offered by an independent workshop in Manchester, was just £36 an hour.

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The five most-expensive regions for car repairs were mostly in the south, with Surrey being number one, with an average hourly rate of £81.07. London was the second-most expensive (£77.42) while third was Worcestershire at £77.16 per-hour. Berkshire and Buckinghamshire complete the list with respective hourly rates of £76.77 and £76.65.

Meanwhile, the cheapest regions were mostly found in the Scottish and Welsh counties, indicating a clear north/south divide. Yet, despite the huge difference in price, more than three quarters of motorists (77 per cent) admitted they have no idea how much they pay for an hour of labour at their local garage.

Motoreasy surveyed 2000 drivers and discovered that more than half (62 per cent) don’t shop around to get the best price before agreeing to work on their car, while nearly a third (31 per cent) don’t bother to check the final bill before paying.

Franchised workshops were generally the most expensive, with an average labour rate of £99 compared to independent garages that charge, on average, £56 an hour.

The 10 most expensive labour rates by region


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East Sussex




The 10 cheapest labour rates by region 


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Outer Hebrides




North Humberside


County Durham







gerry1945    on 27 April 2017

Mercedes Benz main agents were charging £160.00 an hour plus vat so total just on £200.00 an hour this was back in 2010 so could not think what it is now !

Benggo    on 25 May 2017

At the main dealers must be the cost of the person who sharpens the pencils,makes cups of tea,cleans the windows and floors,empties the waste bins;etc. etc.

PhilJohn    on 25 May 2017

I go to Mastertech in Droylsden for my Mercedes SLK service and repair and they charge £50 per hour and are so good and so accommodating explaining everything to the customer and deciding what is the most appropriate course of action.

Also my Kia sportage has always been cheap for the services, lets be fair the Japanese and Koreans know what good customer service is and how it pays not to rip off the customer, hence my second Sportage.

Count Rollo    on 25 May 2017

Mercedes Benz main agents were charging £160.00 an hour plus vat so total just on £200.00 an hour this was back in 2010 so could not think what it is now !
NEVER even consider using ANY main dealer, except for 're-calls',- use local specialists. Vaslt cheaper and much the same service.
Here in Wales some workshops charge as little as £25/hour. Perfectly adequate for routine servicing, etc.

lentos    on 6 October 2017

Where has Warwickshire gone?

les barker    on 20 October 2019

October 2019 Mercedes are now charging £203.00 per hour now +vat & I think the average Garage with upto date diagnostic equipment will charge £70.00 per hour

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