AM Online

RMI: Ending of warranty restrictions will benefit independent garages and consumers

“Consumers, franchised dealers, and independent garages could all benefit from new recommendations on car warranties,” said Matthew Carrington, chief executive of the Retail RMI, commenting on yesterday's report demanding the lifting of restrictions limiting new-car servicing to franchise networks.

Carrington continued: “Allowing servicing work to take place outside of the original dealer network would mean more business for those garages that have made the investment, have the equipment, and have undertaken the relevant training to meet the required standards of the recommended manufacturer service schedule.

”For consumers, it could mean greater choice too. Not only would they be able to choose the type of garage used for servicing, they could see greater choice on how far they travel for servicing. Certain parts of the country have less coverage by franchised dealers than others. Some consumers have to use franchised dealers some distance from their home in order to maintain their warranty. If restrictions were lifted, they could choose to take their car to either a competent independent garage or a dealer with a franchise of a different marque within their area.”

Carrington added that the RMI would be working with the OFT on the consumer awareness campaign it plans to launch in spring 2004 to provide clear information to consumers on the choices available to them for car servicing.

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