Better service for motorist at garages
- Published on Wednesday, 01 February 2012 14:28
- Posted by Scott Buckler
Motorists are set for improvements in customer service from garages under a package of transparency and value-for-money measures unveiled today by Transport Secretary Justine Greening
An evaluation of existing MOT test standards and frequency took account of the views and evidence offered by a wide range of organisations.
In particular, it considered data from Department for Transport executive agency VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) showing that more than a quarter (27.7%) of vehicles tested in 2010-2011 had one or more car defects that were either missed by MOT test centres or incorrectly assessed.
The VOSA data also showed that the roadworthiness of one-in-eight cars (12.4%) was being incorrectly assessed by MOT test centres.
As a result, the Government will work with industry, motoring organisations and consumer groups to focus on the reliability and standards of garages. The Government has decided to:
· Retain the existing rules on MOT test frequency since the evidence shows that vehicle defects are being missed and roadworthiness mis-assessed.
· Shine a light on the performance of MOT testing stations by releasing hitherto unpublished VOSA survey data on whether the sector is complying with test standards. This is published today.
· Work with motoring organisations to find out what problems motorists experience and enable them to share examples of good customer service – in particular to find ways to make it easier for customers to give feedback on their experiences of garages in a way that others can see – potentially in the manner of existing online hotel and restaurant review websites.
· Encourage the take up of industry codes of practice – and expand them to include MOT testing – so that customers can find garages signed up to schemes delivering the highest standards and take action if they have not received the service they expect.
· Help motorists to spot “clocked” second hand vehicles, by changing MOT certificates so that they carry the last three years’ mileage information as well as the mileage on the day of the test, and encourage car buyers to check full MOT histories using the online MOT database.
· Arrange “mystery shopper” tests to help improve performance in addition to those already carried out by VOSA.
Justine Greening said:
“Our garages are crucial to ensuring that Britain’s roads continue to be among the safest in the world. Most are doing good work but the latest data shows that there is room for improvement.
"I want each motorist to be confident that a visit to the garage ends with their car repaired to a high standard by reputable mechanics rather than uncertainty about cost and the quality of service.
“Giving drivers the very best information about garage performance is absolutely key to achieving this goal. It means that responsible garages will be well placed to reap the commercial benefits of transparency. Garages where performance is not up to scratch will find themselves under pressure to do more for their customers.”