Johannesburg - When it comes to the labour rates charged by workshops, not all car brands play by the same affordability rules. In fact recent research conducted by Lightstone Consumer shows some huge disparities.

The automotive intelligence specialist surveyed 897 car dealerships across 37 vehicle brands in South Africa, interviewing service managers to find out the retail, warranty and service/maintenance plan labour rates.

The study found that labour rates varied between R300 and R1000 per hour, depending not only on the vehicle brand in question but also dealer location.

The figures published here are the retail labour rates, which affect all consumers whose cars are out of motorplan.

The cheapest brands were GWM, Chery, Tata, Foton and Mahindra, FAW and Ssangyong, all averaging below R500 per hour. Among the more popular car brands, Kia placed 10th, with an average labour rate of R518, Ford was 12th (at R526) and Toyota emerged 14th (R529).

The most expensive brands were Land Rover (R814), Mini (R812), Jaguar (R802), BMW (R790) and Audi (R769). Rounding out the bottom 10 were Infiniti (R748), Mercedes-Benz (R724), Volvo (R673), Volkswagen (658) and Chrysler (R644). See the full list, with variances, below:

Labour rates, as with car parts (which are covered by the Kinsey Report), are generally not at the top of most car buyers’ minds these days, given how many cars are sold as standard with service plans.

Yet it should be an important consideration for those planning to keep their vehicles beyond the expiration of these plans, which is often just two to three years and 60 000km or less in the case of many of the more affordable vehicles on the market.

IOL Motoring

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