Block Exemption – the future of Independent Garages

legal_updates

Block Exemption legislation has permitted independent garages to service vehicles and maintain the validity of manufacturers warranties.

Author: Dennis Chapman
Published:
Reading time: 1 minute

This article is 13 years old.

Read our disclaimer keyboard_arrow_down

This website content is intended as a general guide to law as it applies to the motor trade. Lawgistics has taken every effort to ensure that the contents are as accurate and up to date as at the date of first publication.

The laws and opinions expressed within this website may be varied as the law develops. As such we cannot accept liability for or the consequence of, any change of law, or official guidelines since publication or any misuse of the information provided.

The opinions in this website are based upon the experience of the authors and it must be recognised that only the courts and recognised tribunals can interpret the law with authority.

Examples given within the website are based on the experience of the authors and centre upon issues that commonly give rise to disputes. Each situation in practice will be different and may comprise several points commented upon.

If you have any doubt about the correct legal position you should seek further legal advice from Lawgistics or a suitably qualified solicitor. We cannot accept liability for your failure to take professional advice where it should reasonably be sought by a prudent person.

All characters are fictitious and should not be taken as referring to any person living or dead.

Use of this website shall be considered acceptance of the terms of the disclaimer presented above.

Independent service and repair outlets are aware that since 2003 the Block Exemption legislation has permitted independent garages to service vehicles and maintain the validity of manufacturers warranties.  The Office of Fair Trading, as enforcers of the competition legislation, issued a press release in May 2004 explaining that they had ensured the major manufacturers were adhering to these rules not only in their warranty wording but also in supplying information to the independents to allow them to carry out the work. 

However, the expiry terms for legislation is in May 2010.  Consequently if nothing is changed the permission currently enjoyed by independents could be lost and manufacturers could once again impose restrictions.  There is an argument that the new Euro V and Euro VI standards on emissions and Type Approved Legislation will make the change in legislation unnecessary. 

However, other organisations, including the AA argue it will not be sufficient in giving access to information for case already in service.

A campaign is underway, called the Right to Repair Campaign (R2RC) which is seeking to maintain the current position. 

There is a website www.r2rc.co.uk which explains how to join the campaign

Dennis Chapman

In remembrance of Dennis Chapman 1951 -2015

Read more by this author

Getting in touch

You can contact us via the form or you can call us on 01480 455500.