Research carried out ahead of the launch of its Professional Register, shows that around 175,000 people work in garages on vehicles, but the IMI can only verify 27,000 who possess the necessary skills and competencies to carry out servicing and repair work.
The IMI has cited the lack of proper licensing in the industry as the reason why the number is so low.
Steve Nash, Chief Executive Officer for the IMI, said: “Modern vehicles are complex and advanced pieces of engineering – even a ten-year-old car can have considerably more computing power than that which took man to the moon.
“They are not simple to service or repair and specialist skills are now essential. However, unlike other professions, there is no statutory requirement for motor technicians to prove they have these skills.
“This contributes to the sadly familiar scenario of repeat visits to a garage for a single fault, often due to poor diagnosis, and undoubtedly has ramifications around the safety of any work undertaken.”
Nash added it is a concern as the public are largely unaware the maintenance, service and repair sector is mainly unregulated.
The IMI currently has more than 40,000 members on its Professional Register, with 75 percent being technicians, and the hope is that it can expand its membership to 50,000 by the end of 2014.