Confusion still widespread amongst drivers concerning Block Exemption regulation

Block Exemption regulation is still mystifying motorists and potnetially costing garages and factors business.

Some motorists are being urged to not use independent garages because they “cannot do everything precisely” to manufacturer standards

Drivers are still confused about what an independent garage can and cannot do to maintain manufacturer warranty, with numerous motorists still asking for advice about Block Exemption regulation.

In two recent questions sent to the automotive query website Honest John, both motorists were unsure of what would happen to their warranty should they not use a main dealer.

The first enquiry read: “Is it true that to ensure the validity of a vehicle’s three-year warranty, you have to have it serviced by the supplying main dealer?

“I’ve just bought a 12-month-old Jaguar F-Pace with two years warranty left.

“I’m told that there has been a case which has ruled in favour of using private garages for servicing as long as the vehicle’s genuine parts are used.

The response, confirmed the facts, although encouraged motorists to not use independents over dealers, in this case. Honest John said: “The EU ruled that manufacturer’s warranties had to apply whoever serviced the car, but, of course, it has to be serviced precisely to the requirements of the manufacturer and that has to be fully documented and invoiced.

“If it isn’t, the manufacturer can void the warranty.

Missing technical service updates

“Also, of course, getting it serviced independently means you miss any technical service updates that only dealers can do.

The second question read: “I have recently purchased a three-year-old Toyota Auris.

“Do I have to have it serviced at a main dealer to keep the remainder of the warranty or can it be done by any garage?”

Honest John’s response once again urged the driver to stick to their dealer. He said: “Yes – definitely worth sticking with the Toyota dealer to keep your last year of warranty.

Motorists warned against using independents

“In theory, as long as the independent does everything precisely to Toyota standards and this is fully detailed on the invoice then under EU law it should still be covered, but usually an independent cannot do everything precisely to Toyota standards and doesn’t have the time to detail it all on the invoice.

“You would also miss any Toyota in-service update.

Block Exemption regulation has been in place since 2003, and has enabled independents to conduct maintenance and repair work on behalf of manufacturers without voiding warranty.


  1. Being a mechanic myself I get this a lot. I don’t feel this isn’t really clearing anything up either. The truth of the matter is, it just an excuse the dealer use to get out of claims. What difference does it make if the air filter is a different make when the ABS has a problem for instance. As for the things that independent garages “can’t do” like update units. I can say having gone through this recently with my own vehicle, they don’t get done while in service either. I have spoken to the dealers about my own car and then to try and get something done about it, spoke to many other dealers and technicians who work for said dealer and the different units only get looked at if a problem arises. It’s just a big con to scare people out of their hard earned money.


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