Research reveals range of labour rates

New research has revealed the discrepancy between garage labour rates around the country.

According to What Car?, the cheapest areas charge as little as £47 per hour and the priciest £141.

It researched the labour rates of 279 independent garages across the UK, looking at hourly labour rates to compare prices because most garages will take a similar time to complete a specific service.

The research showed that the UK’s average labour rate is £76 per hour, but many areas are cheaper than this. The most affordable place to get a car serviced in the UK is Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, with an average hourly labour rate of £47. But at the other end of the price spectrum, South West London is the most expensive area overall, charging an average of £141 per hour.

Garages in North and North West London are not far behind, charging £112 an hour. In fact, the UK’s capital dominates the list of the most expensive areas to have a car serviced, with all but one of the top 10 most costly situated inside the M25.

Oxford is the only other area that makes it into the top 10, with a rate of £91 an hour.

What Car? consumer editor Claire Evans said: “As the rising cost of living continues to stretch budgets for people across the country, our research highlights the postcode lottery facing motorists when it comes to garage labour rates. However, you can often avoid paying too much for servicing by shopping around and comparing prices up front. Such is the size of the disparity, there are examples here where driving for up to an hour could save you enough to enjoy a night in a hotel and a good meal.”