Half of drivers wrongly think getting a car serviced by an independent voids warranty

Trade body airs concerns that significant number of independent garages are also unaware of Block Exemption

Half of drivers wrongly think getting a car serviced by an independent voids warranty
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Almost half of UK drivers believe getting their car serviced at an independent garage will invalidate their manufacturer warranty, new research has revealed.

The survey, by Halfords Autocentres, questioned 22,000 motorists and found that 44 per cent believed getting their car serviced by an independent garage would invalidate their manufacturer warranty.

However a ruling in October 2003, saw the EU introduce Block Exemption Regulation.

The legislation prevents a vehicle’s warranty being invalidated if serviced at a non-franchise dealer, provided manufacturer-approved parts are used.

To protect manufacturer warranty owners must ensure all work is carried out in line with the vehicle’s service schedule, and must retain documents of the work carried out.


Speaking at the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation’s (IAAF) 2019 annual conference in December, Mike Smallbone of the IAAF said: “The awareness of Block Exemption out in the field is slightly disappointing considering all the effort the aftermarket has into the ‘Right to Choose’, ‘Your Car Your Choice’ and ‘Right to Repair’ campaigns that we’ve seen over the years but it seems that sadly the message isn’t getting through.

“More worryingly than the lack of awareness among motorists, is that 46 per cent of garages surveyed by one of our members either weren’t aware or didn’t know about Block Exemption.”

In a bid to raise awareness of the legislation, Mr Smallbone revealed plans in which the IAAF – in partnership with local motor factors – will encourage every independent garage in Chesterfield to become a ‘Centre of excellence’ in trial a project.

With the current Block Exemption Regulation due to come to an end on May 31, 2023, trade bodies are continuing to fight for a level playing field.

Are you aware of Block Exemption? Share your comments and experiences below.

Home Page Forums Half of drivers wrongly think getting a car serviced by an independent voids warranty

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  • #171434 Reply

    we are fully aware of the regulations regarding non dealer parts, our worry is that many fleet companies are trying to force garages to use inferior parts as in Crossland,Starline,Eicher, the parts may meet Minimum standards but the buck stops with the installer, they have to replace free of charge.
    How do these parts get oe approved status.
    Many main dealers are adopting the approach that the customer has to prove, the non quality parts didn’t cause the fault.

    #171435 Reply
    andrew carter

    In any survey, it is important to ask ‘what could be improved?’ with the questionnaire. My guess is a good deal of the people asked would feel uncomfortable telling the truth. It is hard to look a supplier in the eye and say “I don’t trust you to look after my car, especially as it is so new”. An easy out for the driver is to blame warrantee issues. My experience is; despite having a good relationship with my customers, some prefer to use the main dealer for 2 reasons, firstly; full main dealer history is still a selling point and many prefer the main dealer ‘stamp’ in the book when buying a young car, and secondly if a warrantee issue is picked up by an independent, the car then has to be rebooked to the main dealer to repair it for free. It’s a waste of precious time. We pride ourselves on offering better service and work than the main dealers, but honestly – more often than not, the fixed prices offered by most dealers for the first 3 years (mostly due to underservicing) means I, for one am not fighting for this work. I advise my customers to go to the main dealer, let them do the scheduled service – and nothing more -, then bring me the list of ‘recommended work’, or send the ‘walk round video’ and I will do this work, if it’s needed. It still means two trips, but that way the customer keeps their service record complete, warrantee work can be done whilst in with the dealer and the customer saves money having us do the more profitable work. Every ones a winner!

    #171438 Reply
    Philip Dunmore

    We do well out of vehicles recently out of dealer servicing. Usually little or nothing has been done, leaving the owner to play catch up.

    #171701 Reply
    Joe Brookshaw

    Most 4yr old cars that come to us which have been serviced at main dealers have never had the wheels taken off and the state of the pollen filters well I could go on.

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)


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