Motor Codes seeks views on used car sales code

13 June 2011 #SMMT News

Motor Codes, the government-backed self-regulatory body for garages, is moving to cut car buyer complaints with a consultation on the development of a code of practice.

The average amount that Office of Fair Trading research says is spent by motorists on rectifying faults with newly purchased used cars is £425. Motor Codes, the operator of a code of practice for UK garages, is now developing a used car code to combat this problem, identify responsible businesses and boost car-buyer confidence.

Designed to let customers know exactly what to expect from a retailer, the used car sales code will set out a step-by-step customer service charter, covering all aspects of a car purchase, from advertising to aftersales.  Its content is currently the subject of an industry-wide debate, with used car retailers, manufacturers, Trading Standards and the media mapping out the most effective content.  Motor Codes is also urging car buyers to voice their concerns and have their say about what standards retailers should commit to.

“Despite the vast majority of used car retailers upholding the very best service standards and there being clear regulations in place, figures from the OFT tell us that consumers are nervous about buying used cars,” said Chris Mason, Motor Codes Managing Director. “This needn’t be the case.  Garages across the whole of the UK back the principles of our Service and Repair Code, backed by our independent advice service. Motorists can already make an informed choice on where to take their car for a service. With the used car code, they’ll be able to choose with confidence where to spend their hard-earned cash when it comes to replacing their car.”

With over 6,000 garages committed to its existing customer service guidelines, Motor Codes aims to offer peace of mind to motorists throughout all dealings with their garage or car dealer.

Visitors to its website can use an online garage finder and are presented with a list of local garages, complete with ratings and comments from existing customers clearly visible.

“Motor Codes offers a network of safe haven garages,” added Mr Mason. “When the used car code is adopted, this will complete our offering to motorists. In all their dealings with garages or car retailers we want people to be reassured that they can find a business they can trust. This way, we can make an impact on reducing those complaint figures and make car ownership a much more hassle-free experience.”

Initial consultation on the used car sales code commenced this week, with public opinion due to be sought later in the year.

Motorists wanting to search for garages signed up to the existing Service and Repair Code should visit


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