Car servicing kitemarkNew scheme to rate garage services

15 September 2005

A new scheme has been unveiled which aims to protect motorists from dodgy garages and rogue mechanics.

The garage industry is largely unregulated, and rip-off car servicing and repairs are estimated to cost consumers around £4 billion every year. Our undercover research last year turned up unnecessary repairs - while genuine faults were commonly missed.

The British Standards Institution (BSI) says that less than half the garages in the UK belong to a trade association and there have been 11 unsuccessful attempts to get the industry to clean up its act over the last 30 years.

But it hopes to revolutionise the industry with a new Automotive Kitemark scheme. Garages awarded the Kitemark will have to meet certain standards.

Head of New Product Development at BSI Product Services, Mike Pearson, said:'More than 80% of UK adults recognise the Kitemark and it will provide significant commercial advantages to those who opt for the scheme. Our experience in other industry sectors has shown us that organisations that gain the Kitemark see a marked increase in business and customer loyalty.

'Enhancing customer service leads to improved business performance and service standards. The Kitemark acts as an asset enabling the more professional operators to differentiate themselves from less reputable traders whose behaviour has blighted the reputation of the industry.'

We'll be looking at the scheme in more depth in a future issue of Which?.