Independent garages are offering exceptional value for money for customers, a new study by the RMI has found.

The Labour Rate Survey, which polled over 2000 members of the RMI’s Independent Garage Association, found that the average national labour rate at an independent garage is slightly higher than £40 per hour.

This is in stark contrast to some franchised dealers, with labour rate watchdog reporting that some dealers charge rates of over £200.

The RMI’s survey shows that the best value garages can be found in Carmarthenshire and Herefordshire where labour rates average at just £35. At the other end of the scale London and Surrey top the labour rate table with £57 charges.

The lowest labour rate recorded by the survey was in Northern Ireland, at just £32 per hour.

When reviewing labour costs by county, the five lowest prices recorded were:

•            Carmarthenshire at £34

•            Herefordshire at £35

•            Staffordshire at £36

•            Leicestershire at £36

•            Cumbria at £37

When reviewing labour costs by county, the five highest prices recorded were:

•            London at £57

•            Surrey at £57

•            Buckinghamshire at £54

•            Berkshire at £51

•            Hertfordshire at £51

•            Kent at £51

Director of the IGA Stuart James commented: “This report removes any doubt that the independent garage sector is providing consumers outstanding value for money with a high level of service provision.

“Out of more than 2000 garages questioned only 2 were charging more than £90 per hour with the vast majority charging less than £50 per hour.

“With such reasonable rates being charged by IGA members, coupled with the Trust my Garage reassurance scheme, consumers continue to receive a first rate, value for money service when using an IGA independent garage.”

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