Drivers face soaring repair costs without Government intervention against EU

Brexit: EU carmakers call for ‘clarity’ from politicians

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It is estimated that UK drivers could be forced to spend an extra £100 a year if it goes ahead. The EU is looking into changing the so-called block exemption rules, which allow independent garages to use cheaper “aftermarket” parts rather than manufacturer-branded components.

Because of a post-Brexit agreement, the UK would automatically follow these rules, unless UK regulators intervene. 

Currently, the Competition and Markets Authority, Britain’s regulator, is in talks with the Government about the current rules ahead of their expiration in 2023. 

A final decision will be made by the Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng.

Andy Hamilton, CEO of Euro Car Parts, urged the Government to overrule the EU in its plans.

He said: “We urgently need to understand what the CMA’s plans are, otherwise, British drivers risk being driven into a monopoly that will cost them nearly £100 a year and much more in future.

“Ministers must intervene to expedite the issue. 

“If not, Britons up and down the country will have to fork out £2.4bn in extra costs that go straight into the hands of car manufacturers – many of which charge a large premium for fixing their vehicles.

“Independent garages consistently rank higher for customer satisfaction than the franchised dealers, offering a local ‘all-makes’ service at a competitive price – critically, which can be flexed depending on the parts the driver is comfortable paying for.”

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Any changes made to the current legislation, could pose a serious threat to the UK’s 30,000 independent garages and their 350,000-strong workforce.

Euro Car Parts stocks around 160,000 parts at its national distribution centre and operates 330 branches.

In the past year, motorists have been hit with petrol prices hitting eight-year highs.

Increases in oil prices and fears about inflation have pushed them to levels last seen in October 2013.

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