The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) is calling for Government to introduce a legal requirement for UK vehicle repair technicians to be qualified to work.
The call follows research from the IMI that showed one in five MPs already thought technicians had to be qualified.
Despite the view from MPs, there is currently no mandatory requirement for vehicle technicians to be qualified – or to ensure qualifications are kept up to date and in line with new vehicle technology.
Steve Nash (pictured), IMI chief executive, said: “It is laudable that MPs representing the interests of their constituents have such faith in the standards of their local motor repair and servicing garage.
“But, while we know that the major motor brands insist on the technicians in their franchised dealerships being properly qualified, as do a number of independent garages, there are still many individuals and independent operators working without any checks on their levels of competency and skills.
"Considering the technical advances that are now part and parcel of today’s cars, this is an extremely worrying issue and should be a real cause for concern for motorists’ safety. Yet, to date, we have been unable to convince Government to make licensing of vehicle technicians mandatory.
“Several sectors in which public safety is critical, such as boiler maintenance and dental repair, require the practitioner to have a mandatory and renewable licence. It seems almost mind-boggling that the same principle is not being applied to the technicians who work on people’s cars.”
Over half of MPs (52%) believe the majority of technicians are already qualified, but another 55% said they believe training should be updated every five years. More than half (56%) of MPs support the introduction of a mandatory Licence to Practise for motor technicians.
But over a quarter (27%) of Conservative MPs oppose the introduction of a mandatory Licence to Practise, compared to just 2% of Labour MPs.
The IMI commissioned questions for a Populus MP Panel between July 10 and August 5, this year where 102 MPs, representative of the party make-up of the House of Commons, responded to the questions.