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23 minutes increase in car repair times since 2007

Posted: 24/09/2010

Cars take 18 percent longer on average to fix than three years ago, according to automotive insurer, Warranty Direct.

As motorists face escalating fuel and tax bills, some general repairs, like clutch problems, are requiring 50 percent more time in the garage to repair than 2007.

With garage labour rates standing at £75.85* an hour, owners are now spending approximately £190 per visit on mechanics time alone.
According to Warranty Direct’s data, which is based on analysis of 100,000 policies, the average repair time in 2007 stood at 2hrs 11mins but by the end of last year had risen by 23 minutes to 2hrs 34mins.

Average repair times vs labour costs**
Average repair time Labour cost for ave. repair time
2007 2 h 11 m £151.96
2008 2 h 20 m £175.40
2009 2 h 34 m £190.38

“Today’s cars are more sophisticated machines, packed with electronic gadgetry and complex mechanical components,” says Warranty Direct managing director, Duncan McClure Fisher, blaming the increasing complexity for the rise.

“We now see more extreme cases where, for example, most of the front-end of a vehicle needs to be dismantled before work can commence on fairly common components, this can greatly extend the time a job takes,” added McClure Fisher.

Air-conditioning units require 27 percent more of a mechanics time compared to 2007, whereas replacing a water pump has risen by just 7 percent.

To add further misery to those suffering from the continued deterioration of Britain’s pothole strewn roads, fixing springs and shocks is taking an average of 26 percent longer today.