Mechanics' hourly rate on the rise, research finds

The maximum cost of an hour’s labour by a mechanic has reached a record high of £215, according to new research.

Warranty Direct's annual labour rates study found that the average costs across both franchised and non-franchised car repair shops were on the rise. The figure currently sits at an average of £74.33 for every 60 minutes spent fixing a vehicle, while in some instances the charge exceeded £200.

However, price isn’t everything – you often pay for what you get so there is no sense paying the cheapest mechanics if they do a poor job repairing your car. The same is true in the hunt for cheap motor trade insurance; securing a cheap policy might seem like a good idea but if it does not comprehensively cover all of your specific business requirements then the chances are you could find yourself out of pocket should you need to make a substantial claim in the future.

The data from Warranty Direct revealed that the South East of England was the most expensive region, with the average costs in London coming in at £91.99 an hour. Comparatively, Angus in Scotland was the cheapest with an average rate of £58.46 per hour.

In terms of the difference between franchised and cheaper non-franchised car repairers, the cost gap has been closed dramatically. While in 2006 there was an 84 per cent difference, there is now just 45 per cent.

David Gerrans, Warranty Direct managing director, commented; “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.”