IMI call for licensing of automotive retail sector after survey

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 09:44
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How much trust do you have in your mechanic?

The Institute of the Motor Industry calls for licensing of the retail motor trade as newresearch reveals that 70% of motorists believe it already exists

New consumer research released by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) shows an underlying ignorance about the qualifications required for people to work on a motor vehicle.

Over 70% of motorists surveyed by the IMI said that they believed anyone working on a car commercially would have a license to do so. 59% of drivers said they wouldn’t let anyone work on their car that didn’t know what they were doing, but only 10% knew how to check a technician’s qualifications, and were shocked to find there is currently no regulation on individuals in the motor industry.

IMI says UK consumers are completely unaware of how vulnerable they are, instead simply having a level of trust in their service provider which may be entirely groundless.

Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI said: “The majority of motorists choose a garage or mechanic without sufficient information to verify their competence to do the job. And this is a serious cause for concern as data from Brake, the road safety charity, reported that there were over 3,000 crashes in Britain were caused by vehicle defects as a result of inadequate maintenance in 2011.

With an increase in the amount of hybrid vehicles and complex driver assist systems on the market, the skills and requirements for effective and safe working on modern vehicles have sky rocketed but currently there is no industry-wide license in place to ensure service technicians are properly qualified. Without the proper training or an industry standard certification could car mechanics be putting themselves and motorists at risk?

The IMI studies of 2,600 British driving licence holders show a level of confusion regarding the current regulations. They also show the public do not posses the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions about who they choose to work on their car or how much they should be paying.

According to IMI 90% of the trade is in favour of licensing, the IMI is seeking meetings with the leaders of all the main political parties ahead of the General Election in order to push forward the case for licensing and has received ‘in principle’ support of several major companies and organisations including REMIT, AutoGlass, Inchcape UK, John Clarke Motor Group and TrustFord.

IMI’s findings are as a result of research conducted through Vital Research & Statistics to 2,000 adults with a driving license in September 2014 and by BMG Research to 600 adults in July 2014.

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