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EU Preventing Motor Trade from Using Cheap Parts

Drivers could face increasing repair costs if the Government does not overrule new European Union legislation. Some companies from the motor trade that supply all types of vehicle parts are requesting the UK government veto new proposals that could set the average driver back an extra £100 a year on garage repairs.

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Currently new exemption rules are being considered by the European Union (EU) preventing local motor trade service centres and garages from using cheap parts that are not endorsed or sold through industry vehicle manufacturers.

Euro Parts CEO Andy Hamilton recently reported to the press that any move in this direction would cost UK drivers over £2 billion a year in additional repair costs, saying any additional spend would “go straight into the hands of manufacturers” potentially seriously damaging other businesses within the motor trade.

Mr Hamilton has urged the Government to overrule the EU, saying, “We urgently need to understand what the CMA’s plans are, otherwise, British drivers’ risk being driven into a monopoly that will cost them nearly £100 a year and much more in future.

Ministers must intervene to expedite the issue. Independent garages consistently rank higher for customer satisfaction than the franchised dealers, offering a local ‘all-makes’ service at a competitive price, which can be flexed depending on the parts the driver is comfortable paying for.”

The ‘Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA)’ recommendation to the government will most likely sway whether the UK would consider implementing the new EU legislation is passed, this follows a comment from a spokesperson at No.10 confirming the UK “does not automatically follow any new EU competition rules”.

The ban, which if approved would come into force from 2023, probably hitting drivers of ageing vehicles the hardest, not to mention the impact on over 30,000 independent garages and motor trade mechanics that collectively employ around 350,000 workers. A big decision lies ahead for the current Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

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The threat of these higher costs comes as petrol prices recently hit an eight-year high last week after over 30 successive weeks of price increases. One litre of unleaded petrol currently averages out at 133.84p, with diesel costing drivers 135.67p a litre.

An AA spokesperson, said the increasing fuel prices are massively affecting families, saying, “A family with two petrol cars would have spent around £230 on fuel in November had Covid lockdowns not discouraged travel. Now, the monthly cost of refuelling their vehicles is above £265.”

This news comes as motorists begin setting off for their holidays with unprecedented levels of traffic anticipated. Nearly 30 million holidays are expected to be spent in the UK during 2021, with over 15 million of these during school holidays.

With the Government’s Transportation Decarbonisation Plan (TDP) introduction, and the announcement to ban the new sale of petrol & diesel cars from 2030 has left many questions unanswered. It has also been touted that new green taxes may be introduced to offset losses in fuel duty from the growing number of zero emission vehicles.