Motorists have the ‘Right to Choose’ says IAAF
The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) and the National Franchised Dealers Association have launched a public relations initiative to raise consumers’ awareness of franchised dealers workshops.
In a consumer-facing media campaign that starts next month, Motorists will be encouraged to carry out 10 visual checks before booking in their vehicle at franchised dealers for its MoT. As well as cutting the MoT failure rate the aim is to help franchised workshops capture and retain more aftersales work.
“The message we want to get across to Motorists is that an MoT fail could very easily be avoided if a simple visual check was carried out beforehand,” said Mike Baunton, SMMT Interim chief executive.
“The aim of the campaign is to arm Motorists with the information that should help reduce avoidable MoT failures, while dealers will be primed to help vehicle owners carry out the visual inspection before the test, or to rectify any issues before conducting a manufacturer-guaranteed MoT.”
Whilst agreeing that Motorists could help themselves by carrying simple checks before taking their vehicle to be MoT tested, the IAAF’s Brian Spratt, saw the move by the two trade bodies as targeting the independent garage trade.
“There is an understandable irritation on the part of Vehicle Assembler (VAs) and their dealers that members of the public find the independent option so much more attractive,” he said. “Independent garages are generally more convenient for customers to use, are technically capable and often the more economical offer in the market.”
Mr Spratt also reminded Motorists that they could use an independent garage at any time during the vehicle’s life, not just after the warranty runs out.
“Motorists should remember that they have the right to choose where they take their cars for servicing; even during the warranty period. As long as the service meets the VA’s servicing schedule and appropriate quality parts and materials, like oil, are used, then the warranty is not invalidated.”
The IAAF head reminded garages that dealers should be treated with caution.
“A lot of garages buy parts from franchised dealers; the same franchised dealers who are working hard to keep independents out of the market. Garages should know who their friends are !”