Responding to a call for licensing by a member of the Trading Standards Institute, RMI chief executive Matthew Carrington said: 'Compulsory licensing would be detrimental to the motor trade and to consumers. We are surprised at this statement, given that we have been working closely with leading Trading Standards officers and consumer representatives on the development of a self regulatory scheme.'
He continued: 'The RMI supports the view that garages should have to demonstrate acceptable standards so that rogue traders can be exposed, but seriously questions whether a mandatory government licensing scheme is the answer.
'Compulsory licensing may appear attractive but the cost of introducing it would be massive and would be passed straight on to consumers.'
Carrington said that self regulation is the only way forward for the motor industry: 'The RMI, together with the Department for Trade and Industry, the Office of Fair Trading, vehicle manufacturers and the motor industry, has committed to developing a robust self-regulatory scheme for the motor trade to raise standards within the industry.
'Self regulation can work successfully as has been proved in sectors such as banking and travel. Government and industry together are continuing to address areas where there is proven consumer detriment in the motor trade and the RMI firmly believes that industry can deliver an efficient and effective scheme without the need for yet further regulation.'