As manufacturers continue to monopolise the servicing industry, motorists pledge their support to independent garages – even opting to trade-in their car over paying premiums at main dealers, according to car servicing provider Servicing Stop.
“This is in protest to manufacturers preventing small garages from servicing their cars,” the network stated in a press release.
“Big brands are now following in the footsteps of BMW and Mercedes who already control where their vehicles can be serviced, and by who.
“The premium names have begun encrypting their car systems to such an advanced and sophisticated level that independent garages can no longer access the car’s inner server to find faults, repair damage or update the digital service records.
“Even the most technologically advanced garages are prevented from accessing the cars as brands hold digital keys which unlock the car’s software.
“This has already prevented hundreds of thousands of garages from taking on certain branded cars and the owners of these vehicles are left with no alternative other than to visit their manufacturer and pay the inflated cost.
“The premium brands are on a list of names who are on a mission to monopolise the servicing sector, a move that could wipe out the independent garage sector entirely.”
The survey found that almost 70 per cent of motorists prefer independent garages over main dealers – 46 per cent believe they offer the best prices, 40 per cent prefer to use local businesses generally, and a further 14 per cent claim they are more likely to have their MOT, service or repair completed on their chosen date.
‘Less than half willing to use main dealers’
“With so many motorists having pledged support for independent garages, the move by manufacturers to restrict servicing access, could backfire massively, with less than half of customers willing to use main dealers and pay the hefty price tag,” Servicing Stop say.
One third of motorists said they prefer main dealers over independents, claiming they are more accountable and better trained.
A quarter of motorists said they would rather pay more to get a service from a big trusted brand, but these are in the minority.
CEO and founder of Servicing Stop, Oly Richmond, said: “It is no surprise that motorists back independent garages, this has always been the case, but it is vital that as an industry we continue to pledge our support to local garages and independents everywhere and say no to manufacturers monopolising the market.
“We want to see garages and mechanics continue to thrive in a fast-paced and forever-growing automotive industry.”
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