‘Your Car – Your Choice’ pilot project begins

The Your Car – Your Choice pilot project has begun in Chesterfield, aimed at raising awareness of the rights that motorists have to get their car serviced anywhere they choose from new.

The campaign, organised by the IAAF, will target independent garages and motor factors with an awareness day in Chesterfield at Bilstein Group, Markham Vale on Thursday 16 May. Here, garages will be able to quiz experts from around the trade and find out where they can go for support in challenging some of the misconceptions on garage repair and servicing within the warranty period and beyond.

The campaign has received a boost with major automotive companies signing up to support the pilot project. These include: Automechanika Birmingham, Bilstein Group, Comline, Comma, First Line, Hella, Impression Communications, MAHLE Aftermarket UK, National Auto Parts, SMPE, TMD Friction, Johnson Controls (Varta), WAIglobal UK and ZF Aftermarket.

All participating companies will feature in the pilot project’s social media campaign to garages and motorists throughout Chesterfield and surrounding areas. In addition, all IAAF distributor members in the area are invited to get involved and spread the campaign message to garages. Currently, motor factors Autosupplies (Chesterfield) and Road & Rally are playing an active role in bringing garages to the awareness day and highlighting the campaign across their own social media platforms and through their teams.

There is still a huge misunderstanding in the UK of the rights that motorists have to get their car serviced anywhere they choose from new. As BER comes to an end in its current format on 31 May 2023, the IAAF believes now is the time to seriously raise awareness as we enter a “digital phase” of car technology and data ownership.

According to GIPA, *72% of consumers believe their vehicle has to be returned to a Franchised Dealer for servicing/repair so as not to invalidate the warranty. And, an IAAF member has also found that *46% of garages are unsure of block exemption regulations (BER) and don’t have the confidence to talk about it to existing or potential customers.

All IAAF motor factor and distributor members in the demographic catchment area covering all the main buying groups, national and local distributors are invited to take part, along with IAAF supplier members wanting to pledge their support. To take part in the pilot project, companies have until 30 April to sign up.

IAAF Head of Membership Development, Mike Smallbone, said: “We’re very pleased and enormously grateful for the support we’ve received from companies in the automotive aftermarket. It underlines the appetite to make a stand and change the perceptions we all have about the rights afforded to the independent aftermarket supply chain and motorists under block exemption regulations.

“The awareness day on Thursday 16 May aims to equip garages with all the information they need to promote the campaign onwards to motorists.”
For further details of the supplier sponsorship package, please contact: Mike Smallbone Tel: 07584 136970 or email: msmallbone@iaaf.co.uk

More information on Your Car – Your Choice can be found here: www.yourcaryourchoice.co.uk

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