What does ‘block exemption’ mean to vehicle owners?

Block exemption is a term often used by vehicle repair garages. Yet dispite regulations coming into place many years ago, people are still confused over what this term means to vehicle owners; especially if their vehicle is still under manufacturers warranty.

What is the Block Exemption Regulation?

The Block Exemption Regulation is a regulation designed to create competition within business and industry and prevent manufacturers forcing customer to take their vehicles to a main dealer for repair. It came in to force in 2003.

Prior to 2003, some vehicle manufacturers could refuse to carry out any warranty repairs to a vehicle if the customer had chosen to take their vehicle to an independent garage for repair, even if the independent garage had carried out the repairs to the manufacturer’s specifications.

What does the Block Exemption Regulation do for vehicle owners?

The Block Exemption Regulation prevents manufacturers from refusing to repair a vehicle if it has been taken to an independent garage. This means that customers have much more choice in relation to where their vehicle is repaired and can save up to 50% on repair and servicing costs.

It also provides vehicle owners with the ability to use a garage closer to where they live.

What should vehicle owners consider when taking their vehicle to an independent garage?

Although the block exemption regulation provides vehicle owners with more choice, there are a few stipulations that need to be considered.

Firstly, if a customer choses to have their vehicle serviced at a non-franchised dealership, they must ensure that genuine parts made and supplied by the vehicle-specific manufacturer are used.

Secondly, it’s vital that any servicing or repair work is carry out as per the manufacturers schedules. This includes ensuring that engine oil and oil filter are replaced at the correct time or mileage, and that any other items such as filters and brake fluid are also replaced at the correct time.

Finally, any work carried out much be completed by a competent vehicle technician in line with the manufacturers requirements.