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Car repair dearer than lawyer.

IT CAN be cheaper to employ a barrister or a doctor than a car mechanic, research shows today.

Consumers are frequently paying more than pounds 100 an hour for labour at franchised dealers, a What Car? magazine investigation showed.

Hourly rates vary across the country, from pounds 49 for Vauxhall in Scotland to pounds 140 for BMW in London, the magazine said. What Car? said a locum doctor charging between pounds 350 and pounds 500 per day is cheaper, and that even a criminal law junior barrister will charge as little as pounds 30 per hour. What Car? group editor Steve Fowler said: "Consumers could save hundreds of pounds if they shop around and do their research.

"Quite simply, dealership labour rates for repair bills are just too high."

Researchers discovered advances in technology have made simple jobs fiddly and time-consuming and it is car owners who bear the financial brunt.

For example, replacing an Audi A2 main-beam bulb can cost pounds 66 - but the bulb costs just pounds 3.96.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 17, 2006
Words:171
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