The Retail Motor Industry Federation is launching a new consumer-focused garage scheme called Trust My Garage. It will be backed by a customer guarantee of workmanship.
The scheme will be launched in January and will be free to all members of the Federation, although it is not mandatory for them to participate.
David Moran, head of independent garages at the RMI, said Trust My Garage is the Federation’s answer to an apparent lack of faith among the trade as a whole and consumers in existing standards schemes, including Motor Codes and the BSI Kitemark for Garage Services.
“We support Motor Codes,” he told CAT mag “but it’s not quite right for us. It’s dealer driven, it’s a minimum standard, and it’s not independent.
“When we decided to launch Trust My Garage, we looked at the best bits of all the codes: CSI scoring, customer feedback, etc, and we said, let’s make ours a bit tougher.”
RMI members who sign up to the scheme will have to adhere to a customer charter, which, among other things, involves pledging to charge only for work that has been carried out, sticking to price quotes for work and using matching quality parts.
Garages will be audited via visual checks by RMI field staff â€“ each member will be visited at least once every two months â€“ and via mystery shopping.
The Federation says that a “substantial” budget has been allocated to promote the scheme to consumers.
The new scheme adds to a raft of other codes and standards on the market and some commentators have expressed concern that this could confuse motorists.
Peter Lawton, WhatCar? deputy web editor, told CAT: “We hope [Trust My Garage] helps motorists find garages they can genuinely trust but it would be far simpler for consumers if they only had to look out for one logo.”