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Pricing structure

Hello everyone ,

I have been trading on a part time basis as a gardener since April 2015. I am currently studying for the RHS Level 2 diploma in horticulture and am in my final year.

I currently charge  £10 per HR for use of hand tools, £12 per HR for machine use, including mowing, strimming and hedge cutting etc. I also have a ground based chainsaw licence ( no climbing  ). As well as a branch chipper and small stump grinder. 

I want to increase my rates from next April as it has become obvious that I am not charging enough. Some of my clients are already paying me more than I ask as they have been quoted more by other gardeners. I am considering an increase to £14 per hour to include hand tools and machines as per the above  £12 rate.

So the question is,  is my proposed new rate at an acceptable level for someone who will finish qualifying at level 2 next year ?.

All feed back greatfully received,  good or bad. 

Thank you.




  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,130

    It depends on your clients and the area in which you operate.  Why not phone around the competition, pretending to be a prospective client, and find out their rates?  or look in local ads?

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thanks for the response, I've tried that approach in the past but find many people to be very cagey about pricing, usually only willing to give any price information once they have seen the job so ro speak.

    I am based in Bramhall, stockport,  about 10 miles south of Manchester. I have found a massive variation in prices ranging from £15 to £30 per hour and some of those aren't qualified. I have all my own kit and transport.

    Thanks again for the reply.


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,130

    In that case, all you can do is base yourself on what some of them are willing to pay - the ones who already pay more.  If you think that will lose you some clients you want to keep, adjust accordingly.  Don't tell you clients till nearer the time, when they've recovered from Xmas and all that expense.

    The main thing is to make sure you earn enough to live - housing, food, heat, transport, taxes.......

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • GrannybeeGrannybee Posts: 312

    My mum's neighbour in Cheadle pays £20 for maintenance gardening. He seems to be a one man band with a lawnmower, hedgetrimmer  and truck. Don't know about his qualifications though.

  • Thanks to everybody for the encouraging replies.

    I have kept my prices low until now because I wanted to earn while I was learning and hopefully build up some sort of client base ready for when i become fully qualified.

    I realise that I will never stop learning, which is one reason for becoming a gardener in the first place. Even though I have been gardening all my life ( now 53 ), I haven't had had any formal training until I started on the RHS course in 2014. 

    Once I have completed the diploma I am hoping to begin gardening full time and leave my old job as a truck driver behind.

    Oh and by the way Phillipa, I may live in Bramhall but only just !!!, we are in the servants quarters at the back of the Park.

    Thanks again folks, image

  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,033

    I have to confess that when I wanted gardening work done I didn't ask what formal qualifications those quoting had.  I was more interested in what they were going to do, how they were going to do, and the price.  Had I ended up accepting any of the quotes I would also have asked for references of other work they had done.  The only reason I didn't go the route above is that the person I had been chasing for months to do the work got back to me.  Turned out he'd been out of the country for a while and just got back.  I knew his work so didn't need the references.

    I certainly don't think the figure you are suggesting are over the top, but the final arbiter will be the customer.

  • Pete, do you intend becoming self employed ?

  • Yes Richard,

    I am hoping to become fully self employed as a gardener. I started my company in April 2015 with the intention of earning while I was learning. I am currently in a transition period between my old job as a truck driver (35 years) and gardening. In the last year I have reduced my driving hours from 5 days to 4 and again from 4 to 2 days per week. So I currently work 2 days on the trucks, have one day at college, one day off, and 3 days working as a gardener. 

    I find the gardening work so much more satisfying as you can always see an end product and progress being made.

    The end goal is to have enough business to give up the driving altogether and have gained enough experience while building up the client base, to provide a better standard of work than the competition. I also need to have some form of work which does not require a medical, as I was diagnosed with diabetes in 2008. This diagnosis put an end to my proposed change in career to working as a commercial diver from 2008 to 2010 as it became more and more difficult to pass the medical. It could also threaten my HGV medical in time, if or when it progresses. With all of this in mind I made the decision to develop some form of hobby into a business, hence the garden work. The other positive effect in this respect is that as I am now more active, I have managed to reduce the diabetic medication. So all in all the gardening is proving to be a good solution.

  • Jim71Jim71 Posts: 3

    DON'T do anything for less less than £20 per hour, £30 if you are in or around London. You have a right to earn a living and after taking into account the overheads of running a small business these figures are the absolute minimums.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,051

    You can get a "jobbing" gardener in Devon for about £10 an hour. More depends on skill levels and what's required .

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