Death of DIY is a boon for independents

workshopDuncan McClure Fisher, Managing Director of Warranty Direct, said: “The days of changing oil, filters and replacing light bulbs on the driveway are fast becoming a thing of the past – in some cases they already are.”

The warranty provider’s annual study of garage labour rates outlines the amount of time technicians have to spend carrying out once simple tasks.

In the 1980’s changing the timing belt on a Ford Escort would have been a straightforward and quick job, but now to do the same work on Focus will take a garage more than three hours.

An 1994 Audi A4 headlamp change would take around 10 minutes for a cost of around £6, while today’s A4 requires the whole headlight cluster to be bought for five times the cost and uses 45 minutes of a technicians time.

Some of the top 10 selling cars have some astonishing repair times on average the BMW 1 and 3 Series front headlamp will take an hour of the technicians time, while a Mercedes-Benz C-Class will take a garage two hours to complete an oil and filter change, costing the owner £70 for the privilege.

Due to the advancement of automotive electronics, today’s vehicles also require specialist tools and diagnostic equipment which is also putting owners off working on their own cars.

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- who has written 1210 posts on CAT Magazine.

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