Since the scheme’s launch by BSI in September 2005 30 repair centres have been accredited and more are working to hit the requirements for full approval.
Bill Smith of Church Road Garage in Baschurch, Shrewsbury says that he was initially put off of the kitemark by the RMIF.
“Our garage was one of the original QC-approved sites, a status which we thought would make our business stand out from the competition,” he says. “It’s 10 years on now and we still haven’t seen any commercial advantages because of the high costs.”
Smith says that because of the QC scheme he believed the PAS 80 would be “another waste of time”.
“But since there does not seem to be any other viable future for the industry, we’ve decided to take advantage of an offer from Unipart to assist us in getting the accreditation,” he says.
Many of the garages working towards the kitemark are part of the Unipart Car Care Centre soft-franchise network, which is supporting its partners in the quest for accreditation.
Simon Wight of Whites Motors, Portsmouth has attained the PAS 80.
“It’s made a huge difference to my business, it’s probably the most important thing I’ve ever done,” he says. “Organizational weaknesses have become easier to correct, staff motivation is better and our service is more consistent.”
After achieving the kitemark, White’s Motors saw a 10% increase in average monthly turnover. Wight also says that having the PAS 80 makes it easier for him to expand his business. “We want to buy a third garage and if we do we can use the kitemark as a template for the new site.”