A garage standards’ scheme aimed at raising the public perception of the service and repair sector after some damaging media headlines was announced last night.
The Retail Motor Industry Federation says its Trust My Garage (TMG) scheme is designed to “rebuild the reputation of the industry and represent the best in the industry”.
A recent Which? Car report critical of franchised dealer standards was cited as a prompt for the scheme's creation.
The independent and franchised sector can join the scheme – to be launched to consumers in January – and it is free to the RMI’s garage members.
To display the logo, garages have to pass a series of tests, thought to include a practical element, a written self-assessment and mystery shops.
Paul Williams, RMI chairman, told the audience, that TMG was “not just another code to compete with others”. He said the RMI supported the Motor Codes programme.
“It’s an opportunity for our members, be they independent or franchised, to take on our aspirations for consumer service,” Williams said.
In a video shown to launch it, being a TMG member was described by one garage as the equivalent of a restaurant displaying a Michelin star.
Rob Foulston, RMI CEO, said in the video: “Trust My Garage is the RMI’s way of connecting with consumers; it’s a Kitemark, a quality symbol.
“There are a number of garage accreditation schemes available, but Trust My Garage is the only one that has any teeth for three reasons: we have 8,000 garages in our membership which we believe are the cream of the crop; the scheme is underpinned by the RMI’s code of conduct and customer charter and finally it is backed by the RMI guarantee.”
Jeff Powell, of Solo Autos, said on the video: "This is a tremendous opportunity to launch a scheme that's not all about increasing profits, but standards first and foremost.”
More details of the scheme - such as the required standards, promise to the consumer and measures of success - will be revealed shortly.