The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) is urging government to tackle the lack of regulation in the interests of public safety and to help rebuild motorists’ trust in the sector.
Currently, there is no mandatory requirement for vehicle technicians to be qualified, or to ensure qualifications are kept up to date and in line with new vehicle technology.
However, research commissioned by the IMI has found that 85 per cent of MPs believe that a majority of technicians working in garages should have to be qualified, while 31 per cent say believe every technician should be qualified.
The study revealed that 56 per cent of MPs support the introduction of a mandatory licence to practise for motor technicians but over a quarter of Conservative MPs oppose the introduction, compared to just two per cent of Labour MPs.
Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI said: “Considering the technical advances that are now part and parcel of today’s cars, this is an extremely worrying issue and should be a real cause for concern for motorists’ safety.
“Yet, to date, we have been unable to convince government to make licensing of vehicle technicians mandatory.
“Several sectors in which public safety is critical, such as boiler maintenance and dental repair, require the practitioner to have a mandatory and renewable licence.
“It seems almost mind-boggling that the same principle is not being applied to the technicians who work on people’s cars.
“With the motor industry facing a real crisis of confidence as a result of the emissions scandal, surely it makes sense for the government to support an initiative that will ensure motorists can put their trust in the technicians working on their vehicles.”
The number of registered hybrid vehicles utilising high voltage systems on UK roads has increased by a factor of three in the last five years to almost 200,000 and the numbers of electric and ultra-low emission vehicles are also increasing.
MPs were asked: “Do you think that technicians who earned their qualifications five or more years ago should have to demonstrate they possess the appropriate competences to work on technically evolving modern vehicles?”
More than half said yes, technicians should have to demonstrate they are competent to work on modern vehicles while 19 per cent said they didn’t know.
Find out more about the IMI by following the ‘More Details’ link below.
There are strong arguments that regulation will help with the public’s perception of the industry – let us know if you support calls for industry regulation by leaving your comments below. Are you already part of a voluntary scheme?