The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) is calling for licensing of the automotive retail sector following research revealing almost three quarters of motorists think that it already exists.
71% of the 2,600 British motorists surveyed said that they believed anyone working on a car commercially would have a license to do so.
However, there is currently no regulation governing individuals in the motor industry. There are currently an estimated 148,000 mechanics working without any verifiable care standard.
The research, conducted through Vital Research and Statistics, also showed 59% wouldn’t let anyone work on their car that didn’t know what they were doing, with only 10% knowing how to check a technician’s qualifications.
90% of the trade are in favour of the licensing and the IMI is seeking meetings with the leaders of all the main political parties ahead of the general election in order to push forward the case for licensing.
The IMI says UK consumers are completely unaware of how vulnerable they are.
They believe the Government is taking care of their safety and their rights, but they have a level of trust in their service provider, which may be entirely groundless.
IMI chief executive Steve Nash (pictured) said: “The majority of motorists choose a garage or mechanic without sufficient information to verify their competence to do the job.
"This is a serious cause for concern as data from Brake, the road safety charity, reports that there were more than 3,000 crashes in Britain were caused by vehicle defects as a result of inadequate maintenance in 2011.
“The proliferation of hybrid vehicles and complex driver assist systems has already increased the skills requirements for effective and safe working on modern vehicles. But currently there is no industry-wide license in place to ensure service technicians are properly qualified. And without the proper training, car mechanics are increasingly putting themselves and motorists at risk.
“The template for licensing already exists IMI accreditation and our professional register, so there is no excuse for the Government to delay.
"Yet, by our calculations there are 148,000 mechanics whose skills and current competence we cannot verify. It is vital that this issue is addressed as quickly as possible.”