AM Online

Slow up-take for approved garage status

Less than 100 of the UK’s 250,000 garages have applied to receive the British Standards Institute Automotive Kitemark, which it launched last September.

BSI will send out just three licences this week.

Garages participating in the kitemark scheme must abide to a number of criteria, from using OE-equivalent quality parts and having suitably qualified staff for technical and customer service matters, to providing detailed invoices and a free arbitration service for complaints.

The National Consumer Council (NCC) last summer set a deadline of the end of March this year for the Retail Motor Industry Federation to win approval for a code of conduct from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

The RMI abandoned its own ‘CarWise good garage scheme’ early last year.

The NCC said it is now looking to the BSI Kitemark, and another programme being developed by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, to drive up standards.

The NCC has the power to lodge a 'super complaint' with the OFT, which could help to force regulation through, but is likely to extend its deadline to give the Kitemark and SMMT schemes a chance to win support.

A spokesperson for the SMMT tells AM-online: “Since the RMI withdrew its application for CarWise, there is clearly a need for the industry to be seen as being proactive in light of the National Consumer Council’s threat of a ‘super complaint’.”

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