CHEER: Labour rates drop by 10%
Garages are charging £8.16 an hour less to undertake service or repair work this year than in 2012 – but motorists are still shelling out 33% more than ten years ago.
The annual Labour Rates Survey, by Warranty Direct, discovered that prices have dropped by 10% in 12months, with the average motorist paying £74.70 an hour to get their car fixed, compared to £82.86 in 2012.
Warranty Direct claim increased competition from fast fits, aggressive manufacturer loyalty programmes and motorists willing to shop around are among the reasons for the price fall.
However, in 2003 it cost just £56.72 an hour on average, meaning a price leap of around a third.
The biggest price increases from the last 10 years were found in franchised dealer workshops.
In 2003, the most motorists would have been stung for one hour’s work was £152.75, but some franchised dealers in the south are now charging more than £200 an hour.
The highest rate ever recorded by Warranty Direct was £202.21 in 2011, but in 2013 this had dipped by a couple of pounds to £200.40.
Of the 67 counties included in the survey, London is the most expensive place to get a car fixed at an average £89.33 an hour.
The Home Counties, Worcestershire and Cheshire complete the top 10, while the cheapest place was Angus in Scotland – £62.04 on average for an hour’s labour.
Duncan McClure Fisher, Managing Director at Warranty Direct, said: “From this year’s results, it appears, for the first time, that consumers are starting to win the price war as labour rates finally start to fall across the UK.
“We’ve seen almost a decade of spiralling costs to keep a car on the road and it’s good to see dealers competing more on pricing.
“Service clubs, servicing plans, fixed priced servicing and scheduled servicing bundles are being increasingly used by manufacturers and dealers to attract and retain customers.
“At the same time, consumers are getting smarter and learning how to shop around for better deals.”