The motor servicing and repair industry has committed to cleaning up its act by announcing a code of practice to help consumers find the best garages.
The Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF) have finally managed to work together on a scheme that aims to help motorists find the best garages, while exposing those who fail to deliver good customer service.
The Motor Industry Code of Practice gives garages a structure to handle everything from advertising to dispute-handling.
Garages that conform to the code will be praised, but those that fail to deliver will be investigated, and ultimately named and shamed if they don't improve.
The scheme is voluntary, and will require a small annual fee, but it isn't designed to make money or increase the cost of servicing.
Eventually, consumers will be able to visit a website to find local approved garages and also garages that have been blacklisted.
Business that to fail improve to the required standard will be referred to the local Trading Standards office, which can then take direct action.
The code will start to take effect from August, but it will need to reach the Office of Fair Trading's (OFT) Stage One approval, before it can move on to the harder Stage Two certification. Only then can businesses claim to be 'OFT approved'.