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Motorists 'face postcode lottery' over repair bills

Motorists are being forced to pay up to three times more for car repairs depending on where they live, new data has suggested.

Mechanics in Kirkwall, Orkney, charged the lowest average hourly rate for repair work at £44, while those in Twickenham, London, charged £144.

The huge disparities were highlighted in research from Auto Express and Warrantywise, which analysed the hourly rates charged by mechanics across the UK.

Regionally, London was the most expensive overall, with an average hourly charge of £101.60. Scotland as a whole had the lowest hourly rate at just £71.42.

Lawrence Whittaker, chief executive of Warrantywise, described the massive differences in cost as "offensive", adding: "Our advice is simple: shop around, negotiate and remember that as a paying customer, you are holding the ace cards."

Average labour costs per hour by region:

:: London: £101.60

:: South West: £89.12

:: East: £88.75

:: South: £86

:: North West: £84.72

:: Midlands: £83.77

:: Wales: £77

:: North East: £76.33

:: Scotland: £71.42

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