More than 77% of the dealers who responded to Rural Lifestyle Dealer's latest poll say they have raised their labor rates this year or plan to.

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RLD columnist and industry consultant Bob Clements offers this strategy for setting labor rates:

"We recommend several methods. If you want to do it the simple way, call your local car dealership and find out where they are. In most cases, you will find that their labor rate is right for the market. They don’t call other car dealerships. They have worked with the manufacturer to determine where they need to be in their market to be profitable when considering the cost of techs, the physical service department, the training, and tools their techs need to perform quality work.

"If a dealer wants to use this method, we recommend being no more than 10% below their local car or truck dealers. If you don’t have a local car or truck dealer in your community, then go back and do some basic math."

Go here to learn more about the second method for determining your labor rate.