In October 2003 European Union legislation, ‘Block Exemption Regulations 1400/2002’ (BER) came into force.
This ruling gave the country's motorists far more freedom in their decision as to who could repair and service their vehicles. Now, you can use any garage to service your car without invalidating your manufacturer’s warranty.
This was as a result of four specific ‘freedoms’ that were introduced, aimed at safeguarding free competition in the entire market for vehicle spare parts, servicing and repair. These meant:
- parts distributors can supply parts of the appropriate quality to dealers and authorised repairers without the vehicle manufacturer / assembler using ‘dealer / repairer contracts’ or other means to prevent them
- parts manufacturers can no longer be forced by their original equipment (OE) contract to limit supply of parts to the vehicle manufacturer / assembler
- parts manufacturers can supply OE products under their own brand so motorists and repairers will not feel they have to go to a main dealer for a certain part
- anyone with a legitimate need for technical information has a right of access to it in a usable form and at a reasonable cost
Independent repairers CAN carry out normal maintenance and repair services during a vehicle’s warranty period without invalidating the warranty conditions provided that:
- the service is carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s servicing schedules and is recorded as such
- any parts used are of ‘appropriate quality’ and are recorded as such
If you need any further information on this topic, please do contact the ADF office www.adf.org.uk.