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

ZF has said that garages should position themselves as 'experts' by offering safety checks.

Research recently revealed almost half of UK drivers believed getting their car serviced at an independent garage would invalidate their manufacturer warranty – have you noticed a shift in public or garage opinion since the announcement in February?

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.


Speaking at the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation’s (IAAF) 2018 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, with the IAAF welcoming the EU Commission’s call for “robust regulation”.

Are you aware of Block Exemption? Do you think the public still needs to know more. Share your comments and experiences below.


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