European Union lift garage restrictions

A change to European Union law means independent garages could take more service business from franchise dealers.

The new legislation coming in to force will support the existing right of consumers to take their car to any garage they choose, regardless of the car’s age. To support this ruling, garages that demonstrate their integrity will be certified to have access to all functions required to service, repair and update modern cars.

Through the Retail Motor Industry Federation’s (RMI) UKAS accredited business, RMISC, the Independent Garage Association (IGA) will offer garages certification against the ISO standard that will give them access to the relevant information from any manufacturer to be able to fix any car.

IGA Director Stuart James said, ‘The IGA has worked tirelessly to see this legislation through, and RMISC is positioned to be the first certification body for this type of information in Europe.

‘This is the largest change to the current structure of the UK motor industry and professionally run, independent garages will flourish.

‘It has been advantageous for independents that the franchised sector has not picked up the gauntlet of genuinely meeting consumer needs in terms of price and quality. This new change will allow independents to seize the opportunity, take the initiative and increase their share of service and repair work even further.’

Recent surveys have shown that the independent sector has seen an increased market share of service work despite difficulty carrying out certain functions. This limitation will soon be removed, which would allow independents to carry out every part of a service and repair operation.