How have European car repair shops changed service prices in the face of rising inflation?

30 May 2023

The economic situation and rising inflation in many European countries is the reason for raising prices. The survey of car repair shop price changes conducted in 2022/2023 by MotoFocus shows how companies within the industry react to the situation. How has the pricing of car repair shop services changed in Central and Eastern Europe as well as in selected countries in the western part of the continent?

Changes in the hourly labour rate in Central and Eastern Europe

At least 3/4 of car repair shops in Central and Eastern European countries have raised their prices by more than 5%. The highest price increases are seen in Lithuania and Hungary – in these countries, some 3/4 of car repair shops have raised prices by more than 10%. Graph bars indicating an increase of up to 10% are relatively low in this case, which could mean that in many car repair shops, price increases have reached over a dozen percent.

In Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the increases have not been as high as in other countries in the region. Fewer than half of the car repair shops in these countries have raised their hourly labour rates by more than 10%.

It should, however, be kept in mind that the profitability of a car repair shop is based not only on man-hours, but also on the sales of parts. Car repair shops are certainly looking at the prices offered by their competition. An owner thinking of raising the price must consider how the customers will take it. If competitors raise their prices, he feels more entitled to raise his own, especially seeing rising costs.

“The operating costs of businesses are rising dramatically. The main reasons are the increases in energy and gas prices, but also expenses related to employee salaries. Therefore, in order to be able to continue to grow the business, or at least maintain it at the current level, service prices must increase, and this is a testament to the maturity of companies, not the desire for profit,” explains MotoFocus expert, Alfred Franke.

How has the price of services changed in other regions of Europe?

In Western countries, represented in the MotoFocus survey by the UK and Italy, a higher percentage of car repair shops have kept their prices unchanged. This is particularly evident in the UK, where one in four car repair shops has not made any changes to the price per man-hour. In Italy, on the other hand, noticeably more moderate increases have been observed, compared to Central and Eastern Europe – only a little more than a third of businesses have raised their prices by over 10%.

The results of the survey indicate that developing countries have seen higher increases in service prices. It is likely more difficult for car repair shops to raise prices in countries with very high competition in the service market, such as Poland, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom. Although the sentiments in Europe point to a gradual slowdown in the rate of inflation, the operating costs for businesses will undoubtedly continue to rise. This may result in further price increases.

Research methodology

The survey which served as the source for the claims in this article was conducted by, in the form of an online interview among car repair shops. In total, over 1130 individuals took part in the survey.


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