The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has announced the launch of GarageSafe, a new network of verified independent garages with approved access to service and repair maintenance information.
GarageSafe will work directly with vehicle manufacturers (VMs) and UK government to allow access to information for verified, approved garages via a secure online gateway.
The alternative route to accessing technical information and is based on America’s National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF).
An IGA spokesperson said: “Access to vehicle repair maintenance information is a vital for any garage business. At present, the UK is covered by the EU Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation 461/2010.
“This gives consumers the right to have their car serviced or repaired at any garage without invalidating their warranty, and allows any garage to access a vehicle’s service history and repair maintenance information.
“These regulations end in 2023, and with nothing to take its place, it will be down to vehicle manufacturers to decide who can access their vehicle information.
“The Security Repair and Maintenance Information (SERMI) scheme was set up over 10 years ago to compliment Block Exemption by providing garages with accreditation, approval and access to security related information. However, the scheme was never launched or achieved its objectives.
“As your representative trade body, we are taking steps to establish and maintain continued access to security level vehicle data beyond 2023.”
The IGA hopes to build a network of audited and verified independent garages by Q3 of 2021.
Independent garages that wish to join GarageSafe will need to undergo an audit process that verifies the ownership and management the business, along with verification of the garage staff that will have access to the GarageSafe system.
The spokesperson added: “As this exciting project is the first of its kind in the UK it will take some time to get up and running, and we cannot guarantee that it will be a success.
“However, this is your opportunity to join a national network of independent garages recognised for their transparency and integrity, and safeguard access to the security level repair and maintenance information you need.”