Half of drivers wrongly think getting a car serviced by an independent voids warranty

Trade body airs concerns that significant number of independent garages are also unaware of Block Exemption

Almost half of UK drivers believe getting their car serviced at an independent garage will invalidate their manufacturer warranty, new research has revealed.

The survey, by Halfords Autocentres, questioned 22,000 motorists and found that 44 per cent believed getting their car serviced by an independent garage would invalidate their manufacturer warranty.

However a ruling in October 2003, saw the EU introduce Block Exemption Regulation.

The legislation prevents a vehicle’s warranty being invalidated if serviced at a non-franchise dealer, provided manufacturer-approved parts are used.

To protect manufacturer warranty owners must ensure all work is carried out in line with the vehicle’s service schedule, and must retain documents of the work carried out.

“Disappointing”

Speaking at the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation’s (IAAF) 2019 annual conference in December, Mike Smallbone of the IAAF said: “The awareness of Block Exemption out in the field is slightly disappointing considering all the effort the aftermarket has into the ‘Right to Choose’, ‘Your Car Your Choice’ and ‘Right to Repair’ campaigns that we’ve seen over the years but it seems that sadly the message isn’t getting through.

“More worryingly than the lack of awareness among motorists, is that 46 per cent of garages surveyed by one of our members either weren’t aware or didn’t know about Block Exemption.”

In a bid to raise awareness of the legislation, Mr Smallbone revealed plans in which the IAAF – in partnership with local motor factors – will encourage every independent garage in Chesterfield to become a ‘Centre of excellence’ in trial a project.

With the current Block Exemption Regulation due to come to an end on May 31, 2023, trade bodies are continuing to fight for a level playing field.

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

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