Garages in the UK and Northern Ireland are charging an average of £8.16 an hour less than last year to carry out service or repair work., Warranty Direct’s Annual Labour Rates Survey has found.
The average hourly labour rate in 2013 of both franchised and non-franchised workshops is £74.70, down 9.84 per cent from £82.86 in 2012. Data from more than 12,000 cases were analysed in the study.
Increased competition from fast fits, aggressive manufacturer loyalty programmes and motorists willing to shop around for the best deals, are amongst the reasons for the price fall.
Despite the annual drop, labour rates for garages have actually increased 33 per cent in the last decade, from an average £56.72 an hour in 2003 to £74.70 in 2013 for franchised dealers and independent workshops combined.
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. That figure has been dwarfed with some franchised dealers in the South of England charging their mechanics out to customers at a rate of 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.
Whilst prices fell by an average 10 per cent across the country, some areas experienced bigger rises and falls. West Lothian in Scotland actually saw labour rates increase 20.44 per cent over the period, whilst in Cornwall prices fell almost 19 per cent.
Top 10 most expensive regions for garage labour rates (franchised and non-franchised combined)
Top 10 least expensive regions for garage labour rates (franchised and non-franchised combined)