Unauthorised Repairs

legal updates

The CRA is not a carte blanche for customers to spend what they want.

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We are regularly asked about claims for repairs that were not authorised by our members. The terms and conditions are clear, their customers must get authorisation, and at times, they do not.

Can the claim be rejected or not?

The answer, as is often the case, is: “it depends”.

If this is a repair that would be the trader’s responsibility under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA), then the trader will be responsible, and it is simply a question of how much for?

If the customer takes their 8-year-old Peugeot to a main dealer and spends £2,000 on repairs when quite obviously the car did not warrant a main dealer repair, then the customer should only receive back the amount it would have cost the trader to repair at a local independent garage.

The CRA is not a carte blanche for customers to spend what they want.

However, say a customer is on their way to go on holiday, or to a wedding, or they have children who need taking to karate, drama, and dance during the week, etc. and they break down at the side of the road at 6.00 pm, and the mechanic turns up and says it can be repaired that night but for a hefty sum.

The customer agrees to the repair and they are on their way within a few hours. Although they have paid over the odds, the alternative was staying in a hotel, missing a wedding or holiday, or having to hire a vehicle to simply fulfil their family commitments. There may also be the need to transport the vehicle back to the trader.

These costs could all be recoverable as consequential losses, which are losses that arise as a consequence of somebody else, and in this case, a vehicle sold with a fault. Therefore, when viewed as a whole, the decision to undertake expensive repairs may well be seen by the court as the best option to have taken, as the alternative was either still more expensive, or it penalised the customer by missing the wedding, holiday, etc.

So, sometimes we need to look at the bigger picture. Did the customer take the reasonable route? And, that is what Lawgistics are here for, to sift the facts and advise accordingly.

Impression Communications LtdPutting the motive in automotive

Impression works with businesses across the automotive aftermarket supply chain such as parts suppliers, warehouse distributors, motor factors and independent garages. Covering all aspects of automotive aftermarket marketing, including social media, event management, customer newsletters and PR, Impression is able to quickly establish itself within a client’s business and work towards their objectives.

Darren FletcherLegal AdvisorRead More by this author

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