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Cowboy garages 'cost us millions'

07 December 2005

  • Shoddy work costs £300m to put right
  • Half of all garage work is substandard
  • Motorists being charged for unnecessary work

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Motorists are shelling out millions of pounds a year to put right the botched work of cowboy mechanics, a new report claims.

A survey by insurer Direct Line found that an estimated 665,000 motorists have been forced to take their car to a second workshop to have dodgy work repaired over the past 12 months. With each paying an average of £471, the total bill comes to a staggering £300 million a year.

More than half of the 1300 drivers quizzed said they had complained about the poor standard of work, while one in 10 said garages had fitted and billed them for unnecessary parts.

The service and repair industry is worth £10 billions a year and has made several unsuccessful attempts to get its house in order.

Surveys and mystery shops, including the What Car? is Watching campaign, continue to show the industry provides a poor service to motorists.

The Retail Motor Industry Federation, which represents garages, gave up on a scheme to drive up standards after the Office of Fair Trading refused to provide its backing.

Now a new Kitemark from the British Standards Institute has been established to help motorists identify garages they can trust.

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