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UK garage bill ‘postcode lottery’

Average hourly car labour rates vary by as much as 220% across the country, according to new research.

The survey by Auto Express and Warrantywise found the highest average labour rates are in Twickenham, south west London,(£141), while the cheapest are in Kirkwall, Orkney (£44). The average rate in Great Britain is £84.30 per hour.

The highest recorded hourly rate of an individual garage was £240 per hour in West Byfleet, Surrey, with the lowest was £36 per hour at a garage in Smethwick, Birmingham – an astonishing 566% difference.

With an average rate of £101.60, London recorded the highest average rate regionally – the only area to break the £100 mark. Scotland was by far the cheapest, with an average labour rate of £71.42.

UK car mechanic rates

Auto Express deputy editor, Graham Hope, said: “Obviously, higher hourly rates in London are to be expected, but the huge difference in average costs across Great Britain shows motorists are not being treated fairly. And a difference of £204 per hour between individual garages is completely unjustifiable.

“Yet again, it shows how important it is for drivers to do their research, make sure they get the best deal and get all rates confirmed before work begins.”

Despite motorists paying a premium, Auto Express’s Driver Power satisfaction survey, which polled more than 61,000 motorists, has revealed that Brits are happier than ever with their dealers.

The average satisfaction score was 87.84 per cent – up from 86.83 per cent in 2014. Nearly 50 per cent of the motorists who took part said they would be “highly likely” to recommend their dealer to a friend.

Lexus was voted as having the best dealer network – for the 14th consecutive year – with an overall score of 93.56 per cent.

Average UK car labour rates

London

£101.60

South West

£89.12

East

£88.75

South

£86.00

North West

£84.72

Midlands

£83.77

Wales

£77.00

North East

£76.33

Scotland

£71.42

 

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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