The Independent Garage Association (IGA) is encouraging workshops to register with GarageSafe ahead of Block Exemption expiry in May 2023.
Access to vehicle repair maintenance information is a vital for any garage business and 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.
A spokesperson for the IGA said: “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.
“GarageSafe is the IGA’s solution for maintaining access to vehicle repair and maintenance information for the independent garage sector.”
GarageSafe provides an alternative route to accessing security information and is based on a proven, flexible system that is already in place within the USA called National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF).
The collaborative approach sees GarageSafe working directly with vehicle manufacturers and UK government to allow access to information for verified, approved garages via a secure online gateway.
The spokesperson added: “The first stage of the project is to build a network of audited and verified independent garages is underway, with audits now in progress for members who have already registered.
“Implementing the NASTF system will begin in Q3 2022, then we will move to the next stage of enrolment into the platform.
“As this project is the first of its kind in the UK it will take some time to get up and running, and although it is currently going to plan, 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.”
Workshops wishing to join GarageSafe must undergo an audit process that verifies the ownership and management of the garage business, along with verification of the garage staff that will have access to the GarageSafe system.
IGA members can call the IGA member helpline on 01788 225 908 or email [email protected] for information on registering.
On successful completion of the on-site audit, the garage will be provided with a GarageSafe Certificate and at a later stage, when it is up and running, registered on the GarageSafe platform.