Average labour rates for garage repairs rocket to £83 per hour

Considering booking your car into a garage in the near future? If so you should be thinking about not which garage to take your motor to but which county!

A new survey from Warranty Direct has not only revealed the average labour rate in franchised and non-franchised workshops is now £83 - more than 10 per cent higher than two years ago - but that Surrey has the most expensive rates and Powys, Wales, the cheapest.
Drivers in Surrey have to stump up £98.27 on average to get their motors fixed, or a 6.76 per cent rise compared to 2011.

Meanwhile motorists in Powys, Wales, only have to fork out an average of £56.46 – almost half as much as Surrey drivers.

Franchised workshops in Hertfordshire top the record for offering the most expensive prices around. Garages in the county can charge on average between £105.71 and a whopping £201.60 an hour!

Cornwall and County Durham drivers won't be pleased to hear they're experiencing the biggest price hikes. Rates were up by 12.96 per cent and 11.97 per cent in these counties, while motorists in east Yorkshire and Pembrokeshire are benefitting from drops in labour charges of 14.68 and 14.36 per cent.

Warranty Direct's Duncan McClure Fisher said: "Price hikes continue apace in 2012 and we are now at the point that a simple breakdown could cost an eye watering sum to put right. Some older cars could even be written off by a relatively straightforward mechanical hiccup, especially if you are among the unfortunate group who pay £150 per hour or more.

"With the cost of petrol and diesel still rocketing, the latest stats will come as a bit of a blow to those expecting rates to have stabilised.

"There is also some evidence that fixed price service deals are being funded by excessive rates for unexpected repairs."

Chris Mason, managing director of Motor Codes – the industry standards body - has offered advice to motorists.

He told Autoblog: "When we get calls to our advice line about labour rates, we advise people to ask in advance what the rate will be and then, most importantly, check that it is itemised clearly on the invoice. That way you can be sure of exactly what you're being charged for."
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