Garage hourly rates 'on the rise'

Motorists are paying increasingly more to have their cars repaired by mechanics, according to a new study.

Over the past year the average hourly labour rate at garages has risen by around 6% to £74.82, a pricing survey found, indicating that drivers could also be forced to claim more on theircar insurance.

The charges at franchised dealers are up from £87.19 last year to £90.59 - nearly 40% higher than at independent garages. The average labour rate at independent garages has risen from £52.69 to £55.90.

Garages in Surrey were found to be the most expensive, with an hourly labour rate of £87.59, followed by those in the London county of Middlesex at £87.50 and in Hertfordshire where they charged an average of £87.48.

Suffolk and Cardiff have seen some of the biggest increase in garage charges over the past 12 months at 22.17% and 19.09% respectively.

In Greater London, the average labour rate declined by 2.5%, while it was 12.7% lower than last year in Northumberland and down 12.6% in Lanarkshire in Scotland.

According to Warranty Direct, which conducted the study, the highest hourly rate is charged by a franchised dealer in Hertfordshire at £190.35.

The best garage deals are in Renfrewshire in Scotland where the hourly labour rate is just £53.86. The next least-expensive place is the Isle of Wight (£56.41) followed by County Durham (£57.97).

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