12 Jul 2024
The voice of the independent garage sector

“Hugely important” BER replacement consultation response made by IGA

The consultation from the Consultation and Markets Authority (CMA) on the UK replacement for the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (MV-BER) closed yesterday (Tuesday 16 June), and the IGA was among a number of organisations that submitted responses looking at how the new Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Order (MV-BEO) will need to function.

IGA Chief Executive Stuart James observed: “The MV-BER is a hugely important piece of legislation, both to our members and to the motoring public. It protects consumer choice and promotes open and fair competition in the service, repair and maintenance sector.
“As the voice of the independent garage sector, we have actively engaged with the government to help shape the UK legislation which will take its place – the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Order (MVBEO), and we are pleased to see that consideration has been given to our previous comments and suggestions.

“There is a great deal to welcome in the new order. We are reassured that the MV-BEO is, by and large, aligned to the needs of the British consumer and the UK motor vehicle sector. The new legislation will include greater clarity for consumers around warranty restrictions, and protect their freedom of choice in terms of vehicle service, maintenance and repair during the vehicle manufacturers’ warranty period.

“The Order also gives guidance on parts and supplier agreements which will protect the ability of independent garages to offer a quality service to the customer.

“We would have liked to have seen more clarity and reach within the CMA guidance document on the topics of access to in-vehicle data and access for independent operators to connected vehicle communications. These have the potential to mislead motorists into thinking they must take their vehicle into the authorised repair network, an important issue which we would like to see given further attention.

He added: “Given the pace of technological advancements of motor vehicles in recent years, we are also urging the government to commit to an interim review of the MV-BEO after three years, to ensure that the terminologies remain relevant and the MV-BEO is operating as anticipated.”

The MV-BEO comes into force on Thursday 1 June.