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Motor Ombudsman paints ‘positive picture’ as it celebrates 10th anniversary

Mechanics working on a car

The Motor Ombudsman has revealed that despite an upsurge in demand for assistance, the 10-year anniversary of its Service and Repair Code reveals a positive picture of the UK's automotive sector.

The Motor Ombudsman introduced its Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair in 2008 in response to the need to improve standards within the service and repair sector, and to reduce the number of complaints from consumers.

And the roganisation's chief ombudsman and managing director, Bill Fennell, said: “The tenth anniversary of our Service and Repair Code is significant. It is not only an important milestone in the history of the Code, but it’s also a cause for celebration of the sustained efforts that have been made by businesses, through the means of self-regulation, to reverse the negative image that tarnished the service and repair arena in 2008.”

With a growth in awareness of the Code during the past 10 years, and the volume of businesses accredited to it, associated contacts and cases have also risen, the Motor Ombudsman said.

These stood at 2,980 and 35 respectively in 2009, the first full year of the Code being in force, and is forecast to reach over 13,000 contacts and 700 cases for 2018 alone.

Common breaches of the Code during the last decade have related primarily to the quality of the work that was carried out on a vehicle, issues arising from the diagnostics process and damage to a car whilst it was in for repairs.

Despite the notable upsurge in demand for the assistance of the resolution of disputes through the means of adjudication since 2008, studies commissioned by Motor Codes and The Motor Ombudsman have revealed an increasingly positive picture of the service and repair sector.

Fennell said: “The future of the sector is certainly looking bright based on the current trends, and it remains our continued ambition for as many businesses as possible to be adhering to the Code.

"This is so that even more motorists benefit from a high level of work and service regardless of where they are located in the country.”

Satisfaction with the work conducted by businesses has remained consistently high during the past few years, averaging over 9 out of 10, with both independent garages and franchised dealers scoring 9.9 out of 10 in 2017.

Furthermore, a study by The Motor Ombudsman also showed that vehicle owners are even happier with their service and repair experience in 2018 compared to the preceding 12 months, re-affirming the big strides that are being made to consistently drive up standards in this area of the automotive industry.

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