Car owners now have more than 6500 Government-accredited garages to choose from after the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) granted full approval to the Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair.
Colin Brown, director of consumer policy at the OFT, described the move as 'one of the most important developments in consumer protection in car service and repair for many years'.
The scheme was created three years ago by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and other industry bodies in response to wide-ranging criticism of standards in the car servicing industry.
Motor Codes now has garages in every UK region, including main dealers and independently run workshops. Most car manufacturers require their dealers to sign up to the scheme.
Garages that belong to the scheme are vetted on a regular basis through compliance checks conducted by the RAC. Feedback from consumers also helps keep garages in check, and highlights where service is particularly impressive. More than 25,000 people have filled in the schemes consumer survey so far.
If something does go wrong, the scheme gives car owners the chance for redress. A helpline offers help and support, and, in the event of a complaint, Motor Codes will intervene, providing conciliation and legally binding arbitration if the problem cant be resolved.
'Motor Codes has demonstrated a commitment to transparency and scrutiny among its members, making it simpler for motorists to make an informed choice, said Mr Brown.
Chris Mason, Motor Codes MD, added: 'This announcement sends a clear message that we offer a comprehensively backed code of practice and our network of garages delivers real peace of mind for the consumer.'
You can find Motor Codes-accredited garages and see ratings from previous users at www.motorcodes.co.uk