Data: Garage labour rates rise as future bookings fall

Published:  09 December, 2022

Independent garage labour rates have been rising rapidly, according to recently released data, and could be set to increase by 14.6% by next September if they continue at the current ratio.

According to data platform Garage Industry Trends, the average labour rate has risen from £66.30 per hour to £67.60, with increases in six of the seven weeks measured. This rise of £1.30 in seven weeks would equate to £9.70 or 14.6% by next September if the increase is consistent. However, future bookings for garages over the same period have dropped sharply, from a peak average of 87 bookings to 71 future bookings for the week beginning 28 November.

Garage Industry Trends was developed by Garage Hive. The four KPI measures provided are averages for invoice value, Net Promoter Score (NPS), future bookings and labour rate.

Commenting on the figures, Garage Hive Director Alex Lindley said: “Labour rate jumps out as it is showing a consistent trend upwards. We’ve got to be careful in how we interpret this data and the conclusions we draw. The garage sample group changes as more garages opt in but at the moment the increase in labour rate is clear and not unexpected.”

On the drop in future bookings, Alex observed: “Motorists are feeling pressure on household budgets so there may be an element of delaying work. However, we think the primary causes of this drop are first, the end of the year is traditionally slightly quieter and secondly, bookings still vary to the pattern embedded by the six month MOT extension. This Covid effect from March 2020 is reducing over time but Garage Industry Trends shows a clear pattern; A rise in future bookings was seen ahead of a plateau from 12 September to 30t October which has since been reducing.”

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