"Motorists Duped into Believing Main Dealer Servicing is Essential," Says Mr Clutch

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Many new car owners aren't aware they can get their car serviced at any independent service provider in the first three years, without negating their warranty. Mr Clutch, one of the UK's premier autocentres, claims that main dealers are failing to make this clear to their customers. In times of financial pressure, motorists who service their cars at main dealerships could be getting a raw deal, when independent service providers frequently offer the same level of service at a considerably cheaper price.

Being an independent repair centre means we have lower overheads, which in turn means lower costs for motorists

UK based autocentre, Mr Clutch, claims that many main car dealerships are hoodwinking their customers with high prices for servicing and repairs. Motorists can often get better deals from independent garages without compromising their warranty.

Value for money car maintenance and repairs will be an issue for many car owners this year. But those that can afford to buy a new car should be aware that they could face a hefty service bill if they fail to shop around - and shopping for the best deal will not affect their warranty in any way.

Motorists should be aware of the Block Exemption Regulation (BER) which gives consumers the freedom to choose where to get their vehicle serviced without negating warranties, as long as original parts (or those of the same quality) are fitted by the repairer.

Most new cars come with three year warranties and many car owners believe they must return to the dealership where the car was purchased for servicing and maintenance to keep the car's warranty. This is simply not true, but unsurprisingly many main dealers fail to advise motorists of this, as it's in their interest to keep them coming back. Going to an independent service provider will not void a warranty as long as the correct parts are used for repair or maintenance.

Cars are becoming increasingly complex, and access to repair information can be restricted. Under the BER, car manufacturers are not allowed to withhold access to information for independent garages and dealers to carry out repairs.
Having this choice, motorists can shop around for better deals and value for money. It is not crucial to go to a main dealer for servicing and repairs and an independent garage can be a lot more cost effective.

Leading UK autocentre, Mr Clutch, offer services that match those provided by main dealerships, at up to half the cost. Mr Clutch can provide MOTs, servicing, repairs and parts for a broad range of car makes and models. "Being an independent repair centre means we have lower overheads, which in turn means lower costs for motorists," said Joseph Yussuf, managing director of Mr Clutch.

For example, a full service for an Audi A4 1.9 TD could cost up to £420 at a main dealership, but Mr Clutch charges £165 for exactly the same package. A full service on a BMW 320d at Mr Clutch is 52% cheaper than the advertised main dealer charge. It is clear that there's a substantial difference in price, but absolutely no difference in the quality of service.

Recently, many main dealerships have come under fire for their high prices and poor service. A survey commissioned by Warranty Direct, a provider of consumer warranties, reported labour rates at main dealerships to be as high as nearly £200 an hour - costs which will be passed on to motorists in the form of higher prices. In addition, the product testing company, Which?, carried out investigations into main dealers and found many examples of "poor, misleading or unclear sales advice". These findings would certainly reinforce the idea that main dealers are not making important information clear to motorists.

"As economic conditions worsen, many people are putting off their annual car service, which is unwise. But the BER means motorists can and should search for better deals and competitive prices, and not just assume they need go to a main dealer," explains Joseph. "Many motorists are being hoodwinked by main dealers, and are not being told the whole story. Warranties will not become invalid if servicing is carried out at an independent dealer, and this is something that needs to be highlighted to motorists."

Visit Mr Clutch for more information.

About Mr Clutch
Mr Clutch was established in 1978 by brothers Joseph and Will Yussuf. The family owned business keeps hold of its original values and is one of the UK's most trusted and recognised autocentres, with more than forty garages throughout the UK.
Mr Clutch offers a range of comprehensive services including servicing, MOTs, brakes, exhausts, tyres and clutches.

Call +44 (0) 800 67 67 67 for Mr Clutch sales and information.

Adrienne Robins, PR manager, or Sananur Meric, PR assistant, at Adams Creative
+44 (0)1622 687 729


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Steve Dale
Mr Clutch
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