In the latest Which undercover operation, 50 cars less than three years old were taken to garages across the country for servicing. Each had four faults introduced and the wash bottle was filled to the top to see if a charge was made for its ‘top up’.
Which found no significant difference in standards between independents and franchises but the independents were significantly cheaper. The franchises charged on average of £255 for a service and the independents £166.
46 of the 50 garages missed at least one fault, 2 missed all five.
26 garages failed to notice low brake fluid, 38 failed to adjust a low spare tyre pressure and 9 failed to adjust the other tyre pressures correctly. 20 charged for the wash bottle top up.
It seems to be the case that garage owners are leaving servicing / repair operations to be carried out by technician ‘on trust’. The reality is that without adequate check and Q.C. controls then ‘trust’ is not enough.