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Fuelcard Blog Updates: Rip-off repair ordeal

There’s nothing better for a motorist in the current economic climate than knowing you have a mechanic you can trust who won’t fleece you for routine repairs.

Sadly, new research released this week suggests that this is only a pleasure enjoyed by the lucky few.

Warranty Direct’s annual Labour Rates Survey highlighted a significant rise in the average amount motorists pay for garage labour in the space of a year, from £74.81 per hour in 2010 to £80.44 per hour now.

But what really shocked us was the gaping difference between the lowest and highest fees charged by garages, with drivers in Northumberland paying £66.66 compared to £98.21 in Middlesex. One supplier in Essex has even been reported to charge customers an appalling £202.21 per hour!

Duncan McClure Fisher of Warranty Direct said: “Drivers might have hoped there’d be some reprieve from the staggering costs of motoring, but no, they’re getting clobbered yet again.  To think that some workshops are charging in excess of £200 an hour is astounding – that’s equivalent to some people’s weekly wage. Motoring costs are approaching an unsustainable level.”

No kidding. As if it wasn’t bad enough that drivers are having to manage some of the highest fuel costs in a generation, garages are not giving them an easy ride either.

However, having said that, there was support for garages from Sue Robinson, director of RMI, who argued that garage owners have kept their prices down as much as possible over the last two to three years due to the economic climate. But now, as soaring fuel and utility bills take hold, they are having to recoup their costs somehow.

We agree and sympathise with establishments facing crippling costs. That’s fine if the same hourly rate was charged everywhere. But with such vastly differing fees, there is no assurance that drivers will be treated fairly wherever they take their car. Well, except for those who can call upon the value-for-money services of a trusted supplier.

We can’t help but wonder what that Essex garage was offering alongside its normal repair service? Gold dust?


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Nov 15, 2011
10:42 am
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