Local Garage Charges Highest Repair Rates In UK

Labour at over £200 an hour at Brentford BMW dealer

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A local BMW dealer has been found to be charging three times the average UK garage labour rate for urgent car repairs. Berry Chiswick BMW charges more than £200 an hour, according to a survey on charges based on 10,000 repairs by Warranty Direct.

The Brentford based dealer was the highest of three London BMW dealers charging the high labour rates for repairs ; the second highest was £205 an hour at BMW Hexagon in East Finchley while BMW Highgate came in third place at £204 an hour. The average UK garage labour rate is £74.33 an hour.

We have asked the dealer for comment on the report.

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 annual garage labour rates are uncovered by Warranty Direct which analysed data from more than 10,000 repairs.

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 was South Glamorgan which includes Cardiff, the only area outside the South East to come in the top ten most expensive places.

The report, which was published by motoring.co.uk 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, commented: '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.'

June 27, 2014