Shoddy garage work could be costing drivers 4 billion a year, according to Consumer Minister Gareth Thomas.
Speaking at the launch of an initiative to raise standards in the sector, Thomas urged motorists to use only garages that have signed up to the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Servicing and Repair, which was launched last summer.
The industry-wide, self-regulating code of practice is designed to promote and safeguard consumers interests by helping them identify better businesses, while encouraging garages to raise their standards of customer service.
Mr Thomas has asked MPs to contact garages in their constituencies and urge them to sign up to the code.
The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform conducted research using mystery shoppers. Findings revealed:
- 43% of garages did not provide customers with an accurate quote prior to work being carried out
- 40% of garages missed/did not replace at least one item on the service schedule. The figure rose to 58% for vehicles owned by females
- 12% of independent garages carried out work that had not been agreed with customers prior to the work being undertaken
To date, more than 5000 garages have signed up to the Code.