Lightstone Consumer has released its latest Labour Rate Report which focuses on how much motor brands charge for labour when servicing your car.
The study accounts for the warranty labour rate, maintenance/service plan labour rate, and the retail labour rate.
Many brands offer maintenance or service plans and most consumers have little idea what the retail labour rate charged by their dealer is – that is until the maintenance or service plan runs out.
“These reports are of huge value to the motor industry – they allow manufacturers, dealers and fleet managers to compare the relative labour rates between the vehicle brands and even between regions. This ensures that they remain competitive and that’s good for the consumer,” said Lightstone Consumer MD, Paul De Vantier.
This year the report showed that the labour rates can vary heavily across passenger brands – from as little as R300, to as much R1,195 per hour.
On average premium brands (ie luxury brands) will charge around R810 per hour, while volume brands average R587.
“This isn’t unexpected,” said De Vantier. “Premium Brands are often packed with advanced technology and the level of expertise needed to maintain and repair these vehicles demands highly skilled technicians, and that can be expensive”.
He added that regional pricing differences are understandable and can also be easily explained.
“The overheads in running a 600 square metre workshop in Sandton are much higher than those for a 400 square metre workshop in, say, Vereeniging”
This means you should be looking to shop around and negotiate once a vehicle is no longer covered by a maintenance or service plan, said Lightstone.
“You should stay with the franchise dealership if you can and at the very least if the car is out of warranty use a brand specialist. Even if it’s slightly more expensive these workshops have the right training and access to specialist tools and parts and that will pay off in the long run,” it said.