The cost to motorists of visiting an independent garage is on average £40 an hour less than if they visited a franchise dealer, according to a recent survey by the Independent Garage Association (IGA).

The IGA polled more than 2,000 members and found the average labour cost is slightly more than £40 for independent garages, the lowest being £32 in Northern Ireland and the highest being £48 in the south and south east.

In contrast, the most recent Warranty Direct annual labour rates survey records average labour rates for franchise garages of £95.94.

IGA found only two independent garages charging a fee close to £90 per hour with most charging less than £50 per hour.

Location played a part in the figures with, the five lowest priced counties being £34 in Cambridgeshire, £35 in Herefordshire, £36 in Staffordshire and Leicestershire and £37 in Cumbria.

The five highest labour rates by county were recorded in London, Surrey, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Hertfordshire, Kent but average labour cost were still less than £60 per hour.

IGA director Stuart James commented: “With the costs associated with owning a vehicle continually rising, it is fantastic to see that independent garages are continuing to offer motorists outstanding value for money.

“We set up Trust My Garage with the motorist in mind, to ensure that consumers were continually receiving the very best levels of technical and customer service from their local independent garage at a very effective price.

“The results from this survey prove that independent garages offer the most cost-effective deal to motorists and we will continue to work with consumers through Trust My Garage to ensure that it remains this way.”