Trust My Garage offers £1,000 guaranteeNew servicing scheme for independent garages

20 March 2012

Garage service

Finding a good garage can be difficult

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has launched a new car servicing scheme called 'Trust My Garage'. Can it live up to the promise of its name?

The headline news about Trust my Garage for motorists is a £1,000 guarantee from the IGA if things do go wrong.

Stuart James, IGA Director, said: 'If a dispute does take place and the consumer is judged to be in the right, the IGA will guarantee payment of any financial award up to £1,000.' Disputes are arbitrated by the National Conciliation Service, an independent body run independently of the IGA. 

The IGA - part of the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) - hopes its pledge will offer reassurance to drivers, many of whom might otherwise be hesitant to take their car to an independent garage rather than a franchised dealer.

Mr James continued: 'Garages will be able to display the Trust My Garage sign as a badge of honour that demonstrates their professionalism and dedication to the highest standards of skill and personal service.'

There are currently over 2,000 garages signed up to the scheme, and each new member faces a site audit that it must pass in order to display the Trust My Garage badge.

Garage schemes tested

Which? investigated garage servicing schemes in 2010, using doctored cars to see if the mechanics spotted four easy-to-fix faults.

Two of the schemes we tested, Bosch Service and Motor Codes, significantly outperformed independent garages. A third, the Good Garage Scheme, was actually worse than garages not affiliated to any scheme. 

Nonetheless, almost all the garages we visited failed to fix basic faults, so there was still a long way to go. 

Tim Pitt, Which? garages expert, said: 'The Trust My Garage Scheme isn't a fully-fledged code of conduct like Motor Codes, for example. And without mystery shopping, it's difficult to know whether the member garages will maintain the high standards the IGA undoubtedly aspires to. 

'We'd like the IGA to make Trust My Garage more robust by introducing a code of conduct that's enforced by proper mystery shopping. Otherwise, this is just another garage scheme in a marketplace that is already crowded and confusing for consumers. 

'That said, the pledge of up to £1,000 compensation offered by Trust My Garage should offer drivers some welcome financial protection and reassurance.' 

More on this...