If you need to have work done on your vehicle, including a standard service, a repair or an MOT, then you should try to take your car to an approved garage. Using an approved garage can mean that the work is more likely to go according to plan, and that you will have better protection if something does go wrong.
Approved garages are garages which have been approved by the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair. Members have to agree to meet the code of practice and uphold it at all times. If they consistently fail to uphold this code of practice then the garage may lose its status as an approved garage.
Most approved garages are keen to maintain their status, because this status helps to reassure potential new clients and gives the garage legitimacy.
Finding an Approved Garage
If you want to find a list of approved garages, you can visit www.motorcodes.co.uk. The website lets you search using a variety of different filters, including the ability to filter by postcode. This will allow you to find all of the approved garages which are close to your current location.
As well as displaying the garages on a map, the site also provides contact information for each garage on the list and gives a little information about any specialisms which that particular garage may have. You can then make an informed choice about which of these garages you get in contact with.
One of the benefits of choosing an approved garage is that they must have a clear complaints procedure set out. If they receive a formal complaint from a customer, they must follow their complaints process through properly to try to find a fair resolution for both parties. This can increase your chances of getting a positive resolution if you find yourself in a dispute with the garage.
If you do find that you need to go further with a complaint, you will also find it much easier to pursue your complaint with an approved garage, because you know that they are a member of a trade association. If your complaint is not resolved by the formal complaints process, then you can speak directly to the trade association. Explain your circumstances and experiences to them, and they should be able to let you know whether any of the standards in their Code of Practice have been broken. If the association agrees that you have been treated unfairly, then they will be able to act as a negotiator between yourself and the garage to try to help the dispute come to a fair resolution. If the garage does not comply with the standards of the trade association and refuses to take action to resolve the problem in a fair manner, then the trade association may actually take steps to prevent the garage from classifying itself or advertising itself as an approved garage in future. Most garages will want to avoid this as it can lose them trade.