Post Updated 1st Jan 2014/25th march 2016
European Union Car Servicing; Equality was the key word for car servicing
European Union Car Servicing were up for renewal in May 2010. The standards were all about setting out the rules to take into account the huge amount of trade competition in the automotive industry markets for the way that a fair distribution of new motor vehicles and technology and their prospective replacement parts, and for the fair provisions for the car servicing (Car Service Costs) , repair and maintenance sectors of the common market. This is part of the scheme to protect smaller auto companies from getting unfairly treated regarding the flow of information freely from the car makers to the rest of the car sector.
The markets for competition for new cars was thought to be healthy in the new car sector but the garage repair and for spare parts distribution was not as intense, This is meant a danger to motorists who could be harmed by anti-competitive practices that would push up repair bills. The car servicing and garage Repair industry are very valuable for motorists if it was not for the EU rule the price of car servicing would go sky high, as much as 40% (predicted by the EU)
Many motorists are already feeling the effect of increasing car servicing and repair costs because of rising oil costs and the existing recession, they are more price-sensitive and tend to own much older cars that need more regular car servicing. The EU have put in place a much stricter set of rules to govern these automotive markets that will make it easier to enforce the new regulations. One of the problems that were a specific issue was that car makers were holding back technical information and not releasing some of the specific parts to the aftermarket, and also refusing to honour car warranties because motorists were having their vehicles repaired at independent garages, and not the main dealers where the cars were bought.
Independent garage facilities and repairers are very important because they give a better choice to motorists and keep the cost of services and repairs very competitive by placing pressure on the car manufacturers main dealers and authorised repair networks. Independent service centre has been set up to give the independent garages a nationwide service to their customers, one of the best being Unipart Car Care Centres (UCCC) for short.
It is also very important that garages can get the technical information necessary to do the repairs and carry out the work on increasingly sophisticated cars with increasing amounts of equipment, due to stricter emission and greener controls, this to me is what is not happening, we at Pellon auto centre here in Halifax are forever coming across new fault codes in the engine management systems that our machines can not correct, because the car manufacturers have so called updated them, they are always moving the gate posts to try to outfox us and our computers. Most garages are buying new diagnostic machines and computer-based analytic equipment that can plug into the database of most cars computer systems. Because of the new European Union Car Servicing directive, the majority of new cars coming onto the market will be able to be serviced at independent garages and auto centres, such as Unipart (UCCC).
The other European Union Car Servicing rules are the parts used in servicing are compatible with the manufacturers and main dealer components, for example, an oil filter must be of the same quality as a manufactures oil filter. This is now carried out at most independent garages, we always use equal quality parts or we use parts from the main dealers themselves, most service parts are actually made by the same company that supplies the car manufacturers, a good example is LUK clutches. They make clutches both for the replacement market and the car makers.
Are the new rules working for the car servicing sector ?
The new rules will help to enforce the competition for the independent garage, auto centre, and parts outlets. They are designed to help create a level playing field between the replacement car section and the car manufacturers, which will help drive down the cost of servicing the community of Europe and the UK.
This ruling is now two years old and although things appear to be going to plan, the speed of the development of EV cars is outstripping the rules on sharing the technology from the manufacturers. One example is the advent of the Li-On batteries fitted to the electric cars. These batteries are now Leased to the car owners when they buy a new car. Is this how the car makers are going to get around the European Union Car Servicing laws, in my opinion I think it is ?.
Hi I would like to introduce myself. I have worked in the Garage and tyre and Battery business now for 40 years. I worked for a couple of national tyre companies before starting my first business. I now own a company here in the UK called Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre, and I am a keen blogger about anything to do with cars and their related products that will help my business.