New Car Code celebrates five-year anniversary

07 December 2009 #SMMT News
Today (7 December 2009) marks the fifth anniversary of the New Car Code that regulates the sale of new cars in the UK. The highly successful Code has boosted consumer protection in the market and in the past three years alone has seen the number of people it helps increase by more than four-times.
Administered by Motor Codes Ltd, the New Car Code was the first set of regulations to receive full approval from the Office of Fair Trading and covers 99% of all new cars registered in the UK. By setting a high-standard of operation for the whole new car industry to subscribe to, the Code transformed the world of new car buying through insisting on raised standards and a clear means of dispute resolution.
“The success of the New Car Code is testament to the power of an entire industry working collaboratively towards a common goal,” said Chris Mason, Motor Codes director. “The new standards introduced affect every person buying a new car and our backing of the New Car Code means that if customers encounter a problem, we are there to help sort things out.”
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) recently praised the work of Motor Codes at a Parliamentary meeting that discussed industry regulation through codes of practice. Colin Brown, director of consumer policy at the OFT said; “The well established New Car Code, fully approved by OFT since 2004, has demonstrated the positive aspects of industry self-regulation to businesses and consumers."
Motor Codes Ltd administers the New Car Code along with the Service and Repair Code and the Vehicle Warranty Product Code. It offers a free consumer advice line – 0800 692 0825 – in addition to conciliation and independent arbitration as part of its dispute resolution service.
Notes to editors:
In 2006, the Codes’ consumer advice and dispute resolution services assisted 1,133 people with new car issues. The number of people helped by Motor Codes last year had grown to over 4,000 people as awareness of the service grew.
The Motor Industry Code of Practice for Service and Repair safeguards consumer interests by helping them to identify responsible garages, while encouraging the sector to raise and maintain a high standard of customer service.  More than 5,500 garages in the UK have already subscribed to the Code which is currently progressing through the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) Consumer Codes Approval Scheme.  It has completed the first stage of the OFT’s code approval process.
Developed and launched in response to consumer concerns over pricing, quality of work and customer service, the Code commits subscribing garages to:
·         honest and fair services
·         open and transparent pricing
·         completing work as agreed
·         invoices that match quoted prices
·         competent and conscientious staff
·         a straightforward, swift complaints procedure
And offers motorists:
·         a free consumer advice line (0800 692 0825)
·         an online search facility allowing consumers to locate their nearest subscribing garage
·         free conciliation and low cost, legally binding arbitration


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