Motorists that take their vehicles to franchised dealers for a diagnostic check aren’t always getting a fair price when it comes to finding out what’s wrong with their cars, experts behind research which shows the huge variation in prices charged have said.
While diagnostic checks are often free when the car is still under warranty, customers outside warranty face being charged an average of £102, across all 27 manufacturers checked.
The most expensive bill was £180, quoted by dealers for Land Rover, Alfa Romeo, BMW and Jaguar while the cheapest was a Honda dealer who offered a check for free.
On average, Land Rover was the priciest but also the only manufacturer to quote a standard price across the dealer network.
The research, which was conducted by MotorEasy, found best value diagnostic checks were to be at Honda, with dealers charging an average of just £38.
Dealer network disparity
For some manufacturers, prices for checks vary massively within the same network.
The biggest disparity for a diagnostic check was at Toyota with one dealer charging £30 and another quoting £155.
Franchised dealers also disagreed on how long the diagnostic check would take, with some telling researchers it was a simple 30 minute job while others claimed they would keep the car for a full day.
Average main dealer diagnostic prices
- Land Rover: £180
- Jaguar: £135
- Alfa Romeo: £134
- Toyota: £128
- Mercedes: £117
- Mitsubishi: £117
- BMW: £115
- Volvo: £140
- Fiat: £110
- Kia: £110
MotorEasy founder, Duncan McClure Fisher, said: “The results of our investigation are further evidence of how difficult dealerships make getting a car serviced and repaired.
“Not only do they use confusing jargon, there’s no standard pricing that consumers can follow in order to make sure they’re not ripped off.
“There’s a reasonable expectation that the price for a simple diagnostic check should be the same for your car no matter which dealership in the network you visit but sadly that’s not the case.
“The industry needs to clean up its act to start building trust with owners.”
Do you agree with the researchers who say main dealers aren’t giving customers a fair price? Let us know what and how you charge for diagnostics – share your comments below.