INDEPENDENT mechanics in the UK could be at risk if the EU Right to Repair scheme isn’t protected post-Brexit, according to the Institute of the Motor Industry.
The scheme sees all manufacturers obliged to share with independent garages information about how to fix their cars, helping to create a fair repair market.
However, because it isn’t part of UK law but instead falls under the European Commission’s block exemption regulations, it will no longer apply after Brexit unless it is protected.
The institute (IMI) says some 40,000 independent garages in the UK could be forced to close if they can’t access the information from manufacturers, with motorists having to take their cars to franchised dealers for servicing and therefore spending more money.
According to a MotorEasy survey of more than 6,000 garages, franchised dealers charge an average of 40 per cent more than independent garages for servicing.
Steve Nash, chief executive of the IMI, said: ‘The developments in new technology have already begun hitting the most vulnerable area of the industry, so without the block exemption regulation in place, there will be catastrophic consequences for the independents that make up 80 per cent of businesses engaged in servicing and repairing motor vehicles in the UK.’
Because of the nature of the Brexit negotiations, it’s impossible to say if the UK will retain the Right of Repair scheme. However, Parliament could create an equivalent scheme for the UK statute books after the country leaves the EU.
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