Are you being stung by car mechanics because of where you live?


Are you being stung by mechanics due to the place you reside? Common storage labour charges differ by postcode by as much as £94 AN HOUR – learn the way your space stacks up

  • The UK common for mechanic labour prices is £76 an hour, investigation reveals 
  • Most cost-effective postcode for common hourly labour charges is simply £47, What Automotive? discovered
  • In distinction, the most costly space is £141 – use the interactive map beneath to see the place your postcode space ranks 

Motorists might be charged various charges for storage labour relying on the place they dwell, with the completely different between the most affordable and costliest being as a lot as £94 an hour, based on a brand new examine.

The typical labour charge is £76, based on costs quoted by 279 impartial motor garages up and down the nation.

Most cost-effective of all is in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, the place a mechanic costs a median hourly charge of £47. In distinction, the most costly space is South West London the place technicians demand an hourly charge of £141, based on a report by What Automotive?.

It additionally revealed that there might be important variations in automotive mechanic labour prices regionally, with some huge gulfs in common charges in neighbouring places. 

Test the interactive desk beneath to see how your postcode space ranks…


Whereas drivers in Huddersfield can get their automobiles serviced by a mechanic at an hourly labour charge of £47, motorists dwelling just some miles down the street are anticipated to pay two thirds (66 per cent) extra.

In Leeds, which is simply 20 miles up the M62, the typical storage hourly labour charge was discovered to be £78. 

And in Oldham, which is across the identical distance travelling within the different path from Huddersfield, can also be £31 costlier than its neighbouring Yorkshire city.

On the reverse finish of the spectrum, it is the capital that – unsurprisingly – dominates the listing of the most costly mechanic labour charges by the hour.

The typical value within the ‘SW’ postcode is £141, with garages within the North and North West of London (‘N’ and ‘NW’ postcodes) charging a median of £112 an hour. 

In truth, all however one of many prime 10 postcode areas with the priciest hourly charges is located contained in the M25. 

Oxford is the one different space that makes it into the highest 10, with a median charge of £91 an hour. 

All  279 garages contacted by What Automotive? had been all members of the Unbiased Storage Affiliation (IGA) and listed on comparability web site Belief My Storage.

Common labour charges per area are primarily based on the a minimal of three garages per postcode space the place the info was obtainable. 

Nonetheless, What Automotive? says that in some areas information has been mixed with a neighbouring location to supply a sturdy pattern measurement – we now have flagged these within the listing beneath.

Drivers in the capital are being stung worst for average hourly labour costs. In fact, 9 of the 10 priciest postcodes for garage labour costs are within the M25, What Car?'s study found

Drivers within the capital are being stung worst for common hourly labour prices. In truth, 9 of the ten priciest postcodes for storage labour prices are inside the M25, What Automotive?’s examine discovered

With Britons within the midst of a cost-of-living squeeze and consultants predicting {that a} lower in oil manufacturing might quickly spark an increase in petrol and diesel costs, the patron journal says it’s vitally essential for drivers to know if they’re being overcharged on labour prices simply due to the place they dwell.

The examine findings are additionally notably pertinent as a result of a latest What Automotive? survey discovered that greater than three-quarters of drivers (77 per cent) don’t sometimes examine labour charges earlier than selecting a storage, and virtually three in 5 (58 per cent) motorists return to the identical storage each time.

What Automotive? client editor Claire Evans stated: ‘Because the rising value of dwelling continues to stretch budgets for individuals throughout the nation, our analysis highlights the postcode lottery going through motorists with regards to storage labour charges.

‘Nonetheless, you possibly can typically keep away from paying an excessive amount of for servicing by procuring round and evaluating costs up entrance. 

‘Such is the scale of the disparity, there are examples right here the place driving for as much as an hour might prevent sufficient to get pleasure from an evening in a lodge and a very good meal.’


Q&A: Are garages legally obliged to let you know their labour prices up entrance? 

Frank Harvey, Head of Member Companies on the Unbiased Storage Affiliation, responds…

Q: Do garages legally must let you know their labour prices earlier than finishing up any work? 

Frank Harvey, Head of Member Services at the IGA

Frank Harvey, Head of Member Companies on the IGA

A: ‘The quick reply isn’t any. Nonetheless, it’s all the time sensible to acquire a sign of the doubtless value of a restore and to maintain the strains of communication open along with your chosen storage, in order to keep away from any nasty surprises as soon as the work is full.

‘At all times focus on the signs of any fault with the storage and resist the urge to precise an answer, as these signs might be from numerous causes and never essentially the obvious one.

‘It’s value checking that your storage of alternative operates to a code of follow, such because the Chartered Buying and selling Requirements Institute accepted Belief My Storage scheme, and that the storage additionally has an Different Dispute Decision scheme in place, within the unlikely occasion that there’s a problem with a restore.

‘Keep in mind to have a look at the worth of the service and experience you select; we now have all had experiences the place the most affordable choice isn’t essentially the most effective worth.’ 

Q: Why do labour prices typically mount up?

A: ‘Relying on the work required, the labour components of repairs might be important as a result of advanced nature of contemporary motor automobiles and the necessity to precisely diagnose any fault previous to changing typically costly parts.

‘Whereas it’s all the time advisable {that a} client obtains an estimated value of any repairs required, it is very important recognise that repairing one fault can then typically expose one other underlying fault. 

‘For instance, a coolant leak might have many attainable causes, however coolant will all the time discover the route of least resistance. On this situation, fixing a hose that’s leaking underneath comparatively low strain might then expose one other leak from a heater or a water pump, that will solely grow to be evident as soon as the cooling system can attain its regular working strain.

‘So, while labour prices is usually a excessive proportion of a restore invoice, there are lots of elements to the general value of a restore. 

‘This contains not solely the time spent on the restore, however diagnosing the fault, funding in diagnostic and restore gear, and employees wages and coaching to call however just a few. Then there’s the price of components, oils and lubricants, waste disposal and lots of different enterprise overheads, all of which make up the overall value of a restore.’

Postcode Space Common labour charge (inc VAT)
HD Huddersfield £47
CH Chester £56
HU Hull £58
LL, SY & SA Llandudno, Shrewsbury and Swansea £59
BB Blackburn £60
BD Bradford £60
BT Belfast £60
DL Darlington £60
HR Hereford £60
WA & WN Warrington and Wigan £60
DE Derby £61
CA Carlisle £62
DN & LN Doncaster and Lincoln £63
EH & TD Edinburgh and Galashiels £63
LA Lancaster £63
NR Norwich £64
PE Peterborough £64
FY Blackpool £65
MK Milton Keynes £66
PR Preston £66
ST Stoke-on-Trent £66
DY Dudley £67
NE Newcastle upon Tyne £67
DT Dorchester £68
GL Gloucester £68
IP Ipswich £68
M Manchester £68
SK Stockport £68
WS Walsall £68
NN Northampton £69
PL & TR Plymouth and Truro £69
LU Luton £70
CV Coventry £71
EX & TQ Exeter and Torquay £71
HX & WF Halifax and Wakefield £71
BA Bathtub £72
DH & SR Durham and Sunderland £72
HG Harrogate £72
CB Cambridge £73
CW Crewe £74
KT Kingston upon Thames £74
TA Taunton £74
WV Wolverhampton £74
BH & SP Bournemouth and Salisbury £75
AB Aberdeen £76
B Birmingham £76
G & KA Glasgow and Kilmarnock £76
L Liverpool £76
NG Nottingham £76
RM Romford £76
YO York £76
CF & NP Cardiff and Newport £78
FK, KY & PH Falkirk, Kirkcaldy and Perth £78
LS Leeds £78
ME Medway £78
OL Oldham £78
SS Southend-on-Sea £78
WR Worcester £78
CM Chelmsford £79
SN Swindon £79
SO Southampton £79
AL St Albans £80
HP Hemel Hempstead £80
LE Leicester £81
TN Tunbridge Wells £81
BL Bolton £82
CO Colchester £82
CT Canterbury £82
DA Dartford £82
SG Stevenage £82
GU Guildford £85
RH Redhill £85
BS Bristol £86
EN & IG Enfield and Ilford £86
SL Slough £89
BN Brighton £90
E East London £90
SM Sutton £90
OX Oxford £91
BR & SE Bromley and South East London £93
CR Croydon £94
TW Twickenham £101
HA Harrow £103
UB & W Southall and West London £104
WD Watford £104
N & NW North London and North West London £112
SW South West London £141
Supply: What Automotive? 

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