How Can A Motor Trade Association Help Customers?

With over 31 million cars on the road in the UK, something is bound to go wrong with some of them at some point. When it does, the first stop for most people is usually a garage or car dealership who will – hopefully – fix whatever is wrong quickly and get them back on the road. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen, and the owner ends up with additional problems due to faulty work.

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If your car develops a fault as a result of the work carried out by a garage or dealership, or repairs carried out aren’t to the standard you’d expect, the first thing to do is speak directly to the company. Hopefully, this will solve the problem. If it doesn’t, your next step is to contact a motor trade association.

What is a motor trade association?

A motor trade association is an organisation made up of motor trade companies who have agreed to work to a code of practice. You could ask the garage/dealership directly if they’re a member or you could look them up on the association’s website.

It’s worth pointing out there are a number of different associations so you may need to do some digging. The Motor Ombudsman, for example, has over 7,000 businesses registered with them across four codes of conduct, one of which is Service and Repair. There’s also a Scottish Motor Trade Association, one for motorcycles, and one for retail.

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The code of conduct could be different for each association. It could, for example, include a requirement for the garage/dealership to provide motor trade insurance such as that offered by if they offer you a courtesy car.

How to make a complaint to a motor trade association?

If the garage/dealership hasn’t resolved your problem, you need to confirm if their actions have broken the association’s code of practice. If they have, you can make a complaint. Each association will have specific steps you need to take in order to make a complaint; make sure you follow these.

If you aren’t sure what to do, contact them first, and confirm what’s needed. Once your complaint has been acknowledged, the association will start an investigation, speaking to both you and the garage/dealership and acting as an arbitrator in order to reach a resolution.

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