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Half of car owners unaware that independent servicing won’t affect their warranty

Car garage service MOT stock image

Almost half of British motorists believe that their car’s warranty will be invalid if they have it serviced outside the dealer network, according to a study by Halfords Autocentres.

This is despite the fact that the law changed 15 years ago, meaning that a vehicles warranty cannot be invalidated if the car is services at a non-franchised dealer, so long as approved parts are used.

“Many motorists are put off essential car maintenance by the fear of main dealer pricing,” said Andy Randall, Halfords Autocentres managing director.

The statistic was uncovered by servicing and repair chain Halfords Autocentres, which surveyed more than 22,000 motorists via the Halfords Autocentres Roadworthiness Quiz.

The study found that 40% of drivers are unaware of new MOT legislation that came into effect in 2018, which tests items such as diesel particulate filters, reversing lamps and dashboard warning lights.

The same number of drivers had no idea what the minimum legal tread depth on their tyres was and 22% believed that there was no law against driving with an empty screenwash bottle.

The Halfords Roadworthiness Quiz features 11 questions aimed at testing drivers’ knowledge in a fun, interactive format, which also aims to help road users understand some of the newer or less well-known Motoring laws.

As well as vehicle maintenance tips, motorists can also test their knowledge of road laws and safety.

The initiative has won the support of Highways England, which is very keen to keep the country’s network of motorways and major A roads running smoothly and safely during the first big getaway of 2019.

Richard Leonard, Highways England head of road safety, said: "We want all drivers to arrive at their destinations safely, and we urge Motorists to make sure they are ready for their journey by checking their vehicles beforehand.

"Simple checks of things like tyre tread and pressure, along with making sure you have plenty of fuel and oil in the vehicle, can all help to prevent breakdowns. This quiz will helpfully remind people about the importance of those checks."

There are 85,000 breakdowns a year on the country’s roads, and of those around 40% per cent are preventable with better vehicle maintenance.

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