Garage labour rates soar to record high

If the cost of the parts required to keep your car on the road was not enough, it has emerged that some garages are charging up to a staggering £190 an hour for a mechanic to fit them.

The cost of labour has risen by 5.8 percent over the last 12 months, up to a national average of £74.82 for franchised and independent workshops combined.
But if you are looking to save a few pennies on the labour rates, then the research carried out by Warranty Direct suggests that the age old trick of avoiding franchised dealers and going for an independent still rings true – the price difference is a whopping 40 percent.

Cardiff and Suffolk have seen the biggest increases in the last year, with rates climbing by 19.1 percent to £79.79 and 22.2 percent to £79.77 respectively. However, the two areas still fall short of the most expensive area in the country, which was found to be Surrey at £87.59. The next two most expensive areas are Middlesex at £87.50 and Hertfordshire at £87.48.

The cheapest place was Renfrewshire in Scotland at £53.86 an hour, followed by £56.41 for the Isle of Wight and £57.97 for County Durham.

"The once relentless upward march of labour rates appears to have started again after a slight dip last year," says Duncan McClure Fisher of Warranty Direct. "To avoid paying above inflationary rises, motorists need to shop around, and not be afraid to push their preferred repairer to charge them less."
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