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UK survey exposes labour charges shock

2014-05-21 06:49

DAYLIGHT ROBBERY? UK company Warranty Direct has shown the comparison between the price of parts for your car and the cost of labour to have them installed. Image: Shutterstock


An elderly driver and his female passenger walked away unhurt after launching their car onto a neighbour's garage roof. The driver claims, his "brakes failed and he lost control of the vehicle". VIDEO!

LONDON, England - The bill for labour on car repairs has been shown to be as much as 500 times the price of the parts used.

UK automotive specialist insurer Warranty Direct has found that while some repairs cost just a few rands in materials "labour" can run into thousands.

Analysis of thousands of policies by the insurer on three to 10-year old cars showed the average cost of parts used for a vehicle repair in 2013 was R1620, the average labour cost R3200  – more than twice as much.


Premium brands had the biggest gap between parts and labour with Bentley, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz the top three. One Porsche repair involved a transmission seal that cost R2860 in labour to install – a difference of almost 50 000%.

Bentley repairs have the biggest price gap, with a 172.6% jump between the average parts bill of R2350 and labour cost of R6400.

At the other end of the scale, Alfa Romeo owners pay 74.4% more for labour R2145 than parts R1231.

On average, Hyundai repairs are cheapest for parts at an average of R890 while Porsche components are the most expensive at R2490. Hyundai also had the lowest average labour cost a R1960 versus Bentley, dearest at R6400.

Warranty Direct's MD David Gerrans said: “There will always be a void between parts and labour but what is surprising is just how big that price gap can be. With almost one in 20 repairs having a more than 1000% difference between the parts and labour costs, replacing a cheap component can easily turn into an expensive trip to the garage.

“It also shows the value in shopping around when deciding where to have repairs done. Franchised workshop rates are much higher than independent garages and, if you’re repairing a premium brand, it will hit you in the wallet no matter how minor the repair - especially given the increasing complexity of modern cars.”

• All the prices quoted are direct conversions from UK pounds as at May 20 2014.

Here's a list of car part costs vs. labour costs.
Read more on:    england  |  london  |  labour

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