The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has published its latest report into consumer facing websites that provide work to independent garages.
The trade body said that the report, which investigates a wide range of work provision websites, including fees and terms and conditions, was compiled following concerns that “third party companies” are positioning “themselves between a garage and its customers”.
Stuart James, IGA CEO said, “One of the major strengths of independent garages is their ability to provide a far more personal experience for the customer, building a relationship that often spans several generations of customers.
“Significant detrimental impact”
“These third-party disruptors have a significant detrimental impact on the sector by placing themselves between the customer and the garage, skimming a fee from either the garage, the customer or both, with the potential to damage the brand identity of the garage.”
The report suggests that such websites vary widely in size and reputation and “apply a number of costs and conditions which are not always clear or explained”.
According to the IGA, the “majority” of work providers reviewed failed to provide any details of what checks, if any, they carried out on a garage before adding them to the website.
Stuart added: “We consider it our responsibility to our members and the sector as a whole to ensure that garages are given the right information before they decide whether to engage or not with these third-party organisations.
“We will continue to listen to and engage with its members and survey the marketplace to ensure that garage businesses are not subject to any detriment as a result of working with consumer work providers.
“The IGA firmly believes independent garage businesses should continue to engage directly with customers and promote their own brand and image.”
The 2019 Garage Work Provider Report builds on the detail established in the 2018 report, which was revealed during a speech at the 2018 Garage of the Year Awards, and features significantly more feedback and testimonials from independent garages.
For further information about the IGA, select ‘more details’ below.