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Used car check pilot takes off in Leeds

A pilot scheme for a new nationwide used car inspection service has been launched in Leeds. The Used Car Checks Centre franchised network plans to go national by the end of the year.

Drivers pay £50 for engineers to carry out more than 100 checks and to have the vehicle road tested. The founders say the network - designed to give independent garages opportunities for revenue and profit growth - is prepared to inspect any used car, regardless of age or type. It is up against competition from the UK's two leading motoring solutions organisations: the AA and RAC.

So far, three local garages have signed up as franchisees: Wilsons of Leeds, Waincliffe Service and Repair and Simon Green Motor Engineers. The network operates on an annual fee basis and is administered and marketed by Action Automotive. Managing director James Ruppert says Used Car Checks Centre will create a “shop window” to advertise high servicing and repair standards.

“Signage, appraisal forms, marketing materials and the full licence to operate the franchise is on offer now,” he adds. “This will help us get established nationwide so that we can launch to the consumer later this year or in early 2003.” Before joining, garages must prove they have top-rate facilities, and qualified, experienced engineers with strong people skills.

Car inspections from the AA range from £99 for a member asking for a basic check on a car with an engine size less than 2.0 litres. This rises to £245 for a non-member requesting an advance check on a larger engined car.

Basic checks carried out by the RAC start at £89.95 for members looking at cars with engines up to 1.8-litres while a comprehensive check on a car over 2.5-litres will set non-members back £299.95.

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