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Repairers' alliance will challenge rates

London body repairers, many at the point of collapse from spiralling overheads, have decided to take direct action in a bid to persuade insurers to improve remuneration packages. Bob Hood, senior manager of the Retail Motor Industry Federation Bodyshop Services Division, chaired a meeting of 70 leading repairers at the association's headquarters in London where an agreement was reached to set up a 'London Bodyshop Alliance'.

At a similar meeting last month Ken Lane, managing director of Perry-owned Nationwide Crash Repair Centres, threatened to pull out of London unless remuneration improved.

Mr Hood said: “The past two meetings have demonstrated the dire financial position for the majority of repairers in the Greater London region. They are all suffering high costs and have decided to take their future into their own hands.”

One repairer who attended the meeting called it a “turning point” for the industry, but warned: “Some repairers will settle for less but, nevertheless, London bodyshops will now be less dependent on repair contracts.”

The alliance has identified the need for greater self sufficiency, by diluting repairers' dependence on insurance approvals.

Leading credit repair firms Helphire and 3 Arrows have agreed to launch a media marketing campaign concentrating on the benefits of credit repair if there is sufficient support from repairers. The alliance will also promote its members on a website.

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