News and views from the automotive industry.
Motor Codes relaunches as The Motor Ombudsman
Motor Codes has relaunched as The Motor Ombudsman, an impartial, government-backed consumer watchdog for the automotive industry. It is the first ombudsman of its kind, offering free mediation services and regulating the UK’s motor industry through its Chartered Trading Standards Institute approved Codes of Practice.
Car Care Plan, working with the industry’s leading dealerships and manufacturers, has been a longtime supporter of Motor Codes and subscriber to its guidelines. With over seven million cars changing hands every year, the new Ombudsman aims to give consumers peace of mind and fair solutions should problems arise between motorists and garages.
What does the Chief Ombudsman have to say?
The Motor Ombudsman is responsible for providing an impartial service between consumers and over 7,500 businesses who subscribe to Codes covering new cars, sales, vehicle warranties and servicing and repair. It aims to resolve motoring-related disagreements outside of the courtroom.
Bill Fennell, Chief Ombudsman and Managing Director of The Motor Ombudsman, said: “This helps to reduce stress, and the time and money involved in bringing disputes to an end. Vehicle owners can now feel confident that when handing their car over for repairs at any of the Motor Ombudsman-accredited garages, they will be able to enjoy a high standard of service and deal with professional experts in the unlikely event of a dispute.”
Paul Newton, Chief Executive Officer of Car Care Plan, has previously written about The Motor Ombudsman, formerly Motor Codes. He said: “Subscribing to a Code of Practice helps customers identify responsible business operators, it helps them build trust and, ultimately, raises satisfaction levels and retention. I’m absolutely convinced voluntary commitments raise standards of service and provide buyers with extra layers of protection without them having to resort to regulatory bodies.”
How do disputes arise?
The ombudsman announced its rebrand with valuable insight on UK consumers’ motoring habits. A survey of 1,000 drivers found that:
- 43% avoid taking their car to a garage despite suspecting a fault
- 35% said “not being able to explain what was wrong with their car” was a barrier to seeking professional garage advice
- 32% said “feeling intimidated by the garage” was a barrier
- 38% have skipped having their car serviced, with 36% saying the biggest concern was a fear of overcharging
- 57% who have experienced an unresolved dispute with their garage did not know where to turn for resolution help
- 99% of disputes handled by Motor Codes have been resolved successfully.
For further information on The Motor Ombudsman, visit www.themotorombudsman.org.