Dealership Labour Rates (2016) Which Brands Charge Most?



Data specialists Lightstone Consumer reveals the average labour rates charged at South Africa's franchise dealerships. While the variation between brands is largely to be expected, the size of the gap between the most expensive and affordable dealerships of some brands is not...

Conducted during April, this study by Lightstone Consumer includes the retail labour rate, the warranty labour rate as well as the maintenance plan labour rate charged at no fewer than 873 Passenger and LCV (Light Commercial Vehicle) dealerships of 32 brands operating within South Africa.

The graphic (below, click to enlarge) shows the overall Retail Labour Rate charged for Passenger and Light Commercial vehicles. Note that, while a customer would be charged at a dealership it must be borne in mind that many brands these days offer maintenance and service plans, so the average customer rarely sees these rates.

As reflected, labour rates vary widely by brand with makes like Mahindra averaging R479 per hour and some premium brands averaging over R800 per hour. Audi emerged as the priciest, with an average labour rate of R847 per hour. It is also interesting to note the large variation within a single brand's dealership network – for example note the difference between the cheapest and most expensive labour rates of Ford and Audi. This, according to a source at Lightstone, may be surprising at face value, but is down to factors such as location and dealer groups.

The study found that the labour rates also vary widely by province and between major metro and small town environments. At a provincial level the highest average labour rates are in Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal with the lowest being charged in the Free state, North West and Northern Cape. The Lightstone Consumer survey also covered the rates charged for the servicing and maintenance of medium and heavy commercial vehicles with similar variances being revealed.