How the Block Exemption Regulations Affected the Servicing Market

Back in October 2002 European Union legislation, that changed the motor and more importantly the repair industry, came into force. The full title was the ‘Block Exemption Regulations 1400/2002’. Once this was put into place the way cars could be serviced or repaired changed and gave motorists a lot more freedom.

This was a big event for the independent car servicing sector. For the first time, locally owned garages were able to service cars that were still within their warranty without making the car warranty null and void – as it used to be before the Block Exemption Regulations were instated.

Before the Block Exemptions were created, technical information that garages needed in order to carry out work on vehicles was kept secret by the vehicle manufacturers. Only their own approved garages were given the sought-after information, only they could service a car that was under warranty.

This meant that the manufacturers were the only people that could benefit financially. However, with the introduction of the Block Exemption Regulations, car owners finally had a choice when it came to who could service their vehicle, as the purpose of the regulations was to safeguard free competition in the parts, service and repair market. The car manufacturers had to now share technical information with the independent market by law.

The legislation It succeeded in its goals and to the benefit of motorists, the competition drove down prices and created business for the struggling independent market.

Seven years on and this is still the case. Now motorists can use any garage of their preference to service their car without invalidating the manufacturer’s warranty (subject to certain conditions).

As long as the Block Exemption Regulations remain a part of the law (the car manufacturers have been lobbying for their removal for some time) you can be sure that wherever you decide to take your car when it needs to be serviced – even for basic maintenance like an oil change or the fitting of new car tyres – or to go through its MOT test the warranty will remain intact.

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