Labourrates.co.uk is an independent website set up to help you, the motorist, make an informed decision when it comes to having your car serviced or repaired, following a mechanical failure. We've been monitoring how much franchised dealers and independent garages charge for labour for the past 10 years, and we think some of the charges are... well, a rip off.

Depending on where you go, you could be charged up to a monstrous £202.21 per hour for a mechanic's time. That can lead to a really hefty, and almost certainly, unwanted bill in next to no time.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

In studies carried out during 2011, the national average labour rate at franchised dealers was found to be £95.83, and £60.68 for smaller, independent workshops.

In fact, the highest labour rate charged by an independent garage that the research found was £180.60, whereas one London franchised dealer admitted the astonishing labour rate of £202.21.

It's often a postcode lottery as to how much you get charged, too, even among independents - Middlesex, for instance, featured labour rates almost twice as high on average as garages in Scotland.

That's why Labourrates.co.uk has been set up. We're here to campaign for better value for money, and to put an end to extortionate labour rates in garage workshops.

But we need your help too if we are to make things better - the site will offer you the chance to tell us your stories of outlandish bills, and we'll name and shame the garage that dished it out, as a warning to your fellow motorists.

In this way, we hope the site becomes a public service, helping the UK's drivers avoid overly expensive garage bills, and offering advice on where to go to find a more acceptable labour rate charge.