posted 4 years ago

Garage Repair Cost hits ‘all time high’

Labour rates hit ‘£215 per hour’

If you own a brand new car with a long term warranty think yourself very lucky as the cost of urgent car repairs has now hit an all time high. The top rate charged by a BMW dealer in 

Chiswick West London is nearly three times the average UK garage labour rate which stands at £74.33. Second highest with an hourly rate of £205 was BMW Hexagon in East Finchley while third place BMW Highgate charging £204 per hour. Berry Chiswick BMW at Brentford in Middlesex is one of three in the capital charging more than £200 per hour.

The annual garage labour rates are uncovered by Warranty Direct which analysed data from more than 10,000 repairs. Of the 67 counties included in the study, London is the most expensive place in which to get your car fixed, at an average £91.99 an hour for franchised and non-franchised garages combined. The report notes ‘one franchised workshop in West London was found to be charging £215 an hour, the highest rate ever recorded by Warranty Direct in the eleven years of the study.’ The South East dominated the top ten most expensive regions, with the Home Counties of Surrey and Middlesex taking second and third positions after London. Fourth placed South Glamorgan in Wales a county which includes the city of Cardiff was the only area outside of the South East to figure in the top ten most expensive places. The North and Scotland were among the least expensive places to have your car fixed with Angus and East Lothian, followed by County Durham, Ayrshire, and Humberside. The biggest risers and fallers were Cleveland in the North East, where average bills were up 15 per cent year-on-year to £72.02 and Warwickshire, which saw rates drop by 10 per cent to £69.71.

The report also found that official franchised dealers charge on average 45 per cent more than independent garages, the average franchised main dealer hourly rate of £92.11 compares to a non-franchised rate of £63.56. Eight years ago, official franchised garages were 83 per cent dearer than independent garages. It means that the price gap between main dealers and independent garages has closed up by almost 40 per cent over eight years.

David Gerrans, Warranty Director managing director, said 'while labour rates remain fairly steady, London continues to set new benchmarks for the cost of getting car repairs, with a jaw-dropping rate from one garage that would have many motorists rubbing their eyes in disbelief.’ The shrinking price difference between main dealers and non-franchised workshops could be due to the increasing popularity of dearer fast-fits and auto centres that seem to be taking business away from less expensive independents, as well as the advent of manufacturer schemes that offer discounts for older cars and help keep the overall franchised rate down.'