Independent garages have been increasing their market share of service work despite the difficulties encountered when carrying out certain tasks as VMs have been able to withhold vital repair data when involving issues of vehicle security. However, the Independent Garage Association has today announced that this limitation will soon be removed, allowing independents to carry out every part of a service and repair for their customers.
Terry Gibson, IGA Head of Member Services at the Independent Garage Association, told autotechnician: “They’ve always been able to hold back security [data]because of fears of the potential effect on vehicle thefts so SERMI exists to create the rules and the process by which the people outside the franchised dealer networks, the independent garages, can prove that they are a trustworthy businesses and as a result, have access to that information.”
EU legislation will soon come into force which will support the existing right of consumers to take their car, new or old, to any garage of their choice. Garages who demonstrate their integrity, by providing proof of an established automotive repair business and passing checks on the criminal history of staff employed, will then be certified to have access to all the functions required to service, repair and update modern cars.
The Independent Garage Association has been working in Brussels for many years to see this legislation come to fruition, and through the RMI’s UKAS accredited business, RMISC, will offer garages certification against the ISO standard (ISO18541) that will give them access to the relevant information from any manufacturer to be able to fix any car.
IGA Director Stuart James commented, “The IGA has worked tirelessly to see this legislation through, and RMISC is positioned to be the first certification body for this type of information in Europe.
“This is the largest change to the current structure of the UK motor industry and professionally run, independent garages will flourish.”
Stuart continues: “It has been advantageous for independents that the franchised sector has not picked up the gauntlet of genuinely meeting consumer needs in terms of price and quality. This new change will allow independents to seize the opportunity, take the initiative and increase their share of service and repair work even further.”
NB:SERMI – the Association created to further develop, own, operate and maintain a scheme and process initially proposed by the EU Forum on Access to Vehicle RMI (Repair and Maintenance Information) to approve and authorise independent operators (IO’s) working in the European automotive aftermarket industry sector, to enable them to access security-related repair and maintenance information.