IAAF calls for ‘smart regulation’

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has called for new regulations to support vehicle owners and operators who want to select their own repairers.

It argues that removing this choice adds cost to motorist while also having a negative impact on the UK independent repair sector.

The IAAF believes that as the industry become ever-more complex, new ‘smart regulation’ is essential to safeguard a sector that it believes is critical to the UK economy.

In a statement, it said:

“The UK automotive aftermarket supports over half a million jobs, generating some £20bn to the UK economy and providing over 75% of the vehicle repair volume in independent workshops, predominantly within SMEs, and serving as a catalyst for economic activity and social mobility.

“The sector stands as a pillar within the wider automotive industry, providing indispensable repair, maintenance, and replacement parts or services that ensure the safety, reliability and sustainability of the UK’s vehicle parc and provide competitive choices to 34 million vehicle owners and operators for the service and repair of their vehicles.”


The statement continued: “As the automotive landscape undergoes profound transformations, embracing sustainability initiatives and adapting to emerging technologies, both challenges and opportunities are presented.

“However, this new automotive landscape creates restrictions on the abilities of the UK’s independent aftermarket to continue to provide competitive consumer choices, as vehicle manufacturers increasingly use new technologies to distort the access to, and the use of, vehicle data and information.

“The rise of electrification, software-defined vehicles, and remote access to vehicle generated data and information heralds a new era of mobility, demanding innovative solutions and new business models. It is imperative that we continue to ensure effective competition within the aftermarket sector, as well as prioritising sustainability initiatives, such as the use of remanufactured parts and eco-friendly practices, to reduce environmental impact and foster a more sustainable road mobility future.

“In the next five years, we call on the UK government to recognise this contribution of the UK aftermarket and to address these changes to vehicle design and technology and implement ‘smart regulation’ that will be essential to secure the sector’s ability to compete, particularly concerning access to critical vehicle data and information.”

The IAAF will be at the UK Garage and Bodyshop Event, taking place on 5-6 June at the NEC, Birmingham.