Garages just one click away from new industry Code of Practice

The new Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair was launched by Motor Codes Limited to the trade today at the Office of Fair Trading in London. Over 5,500 garages have already signalled their intent to subscribe via a pre-launch commitment programme which has the enthusiastic support of the motor industry.

Any UK garage can sign up to the voluntary code, which is currently progressing through the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS). To comply with the code, a business will need to commit to meet the requirements for completing service and repair work whilst engaging with their customers.

The code aims to promote and safeguard the interests of consumers by helping them identify subscribing garages, and providing an easily accessible and robust dispute resolution mechanism when required.

A code subscriber will commit to:

    • honest and fair services
    • open and transparent pricing
    • complete work as agreed
    • invoices that match quoted prices
    • competent and conscientious staff
    • a straightforward, swift complaints procedure

The code itself will:

  • provide a free consumer advice line
  • provide free conciliation and low cost, legally binding arbitration
  • offer consumers more rights than required by law

“Industry response to the Code has been extremely encouraging, with thousands of outlets already committed to signing up prior to launch,” said Chris Mason, Motor Codes Director. “The website will go live on 26 May and will act as the gateway to the industry signing up to deliver accountable business. We expect many more garages to log-on to the website and subscribe over the next few months before we launch to consumers in the summer.”

Joining Chris at the launch were Alec Murray, chairman of the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF), Sue Robinson, director of the RMI National Franchised Dealer Association and Paul Everitt, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

“We want to see unnecessary and unfair practices driven out of the motor industry service and repair sector, and the Code aims to do exactly that,” said Alec Murray. “The commitment already shown by the trade is an early confirmation of its willingness to address the poor image consumers have of the garage business. Most will have no difficulty in meeting the code requirements and the fact that it is so affordable makes it a ‘must have’ business tool.”

Paul Everitt added: “Considerable effort has gone into developing this industry-wide code to make it affordable for businesses and accountable for consumers. Compliance should not place any additional burden on responsible garages – in fact it should even enhance the marketing toolkit of a business. I urge all garages to log on and join the thousands who have already committed.”

27 May 2008 Staff

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