On Thursday 16th May, PECUVi were very proud to support the ‘Your Car – Your Choice’ event held at the Bilstein Group in Markham Vale, Chesterfield as part of the ‘Right2Choose’ campaign.
The purpose of the event was to help raise awareness of ‘Your Car – Your Choice’ to garages in the local area and provide them with the necessary information they need when speaking to their customers.
The event was set up by the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) as a pilot in the Chesterfield area to help inform local garages about the Block Exemption Regulation (BER). Prior to 2003, vehicle owners in the whole of the EU region risked nullifying their vehicle warranty when the vehicles were serviced or repaired in workshops not belonging to the vehicle manufacturer or its network of dealerships. This barrier was broken in October 2003, when the European Commission (EC) passed a law allowing vehicle owners the freedom of having their servicing and repairs done at their chosen workshop.
Despite this law being in place for over 15 years now, there is still a worrying lack of consumer knowledge, with 72%† of owners surveyed thought that they must take their vehicle back to a main dealer for the service or repair to be carried out! In reality, you have the right to have your vehicle repaired or serviced at any independent garage, franchised dealer or autocentre of your choosing without invalidating your warranty*.
The event itself was a huge success, with over 100 representatives from garages in the local area attending throughout the afternoon and into the evening. Attendees included representatives from motor factors, parts and lubricant manufacturers as well as service providers, such as ourselves, to speak directly to garage owners and technicians. Throughout the day, short presentations were made, offering attendees all the information they needed, such as how manufacturers will cover liability on their parts or lubricants in the event of a claim, as they are ‘manufacturer approved’ and in a lot of cases, the very same items that the manufacturers use in their vehicle assembly lines.
We have shown our support to the ‘Your Car, Your Choice’ campaign by adding the campaign logo to our My Service Trust customer landing page, helping to inform and educate consumers about their freedom of choice on where to take their car, whether that be an independent or a main dealer.
Although customers will have already taken their car to their local independent garage by the time they see the logo on our customer landing page, our statistics show that on average a video is watched 5.3 times and this is often whilst sharing the video with friends or relatives. This means that along with the high levels of customer service the garage offers, the fact that any car can be serviced or repaired there is also being promoted to other potential customers, including new car owners.
Video is a proven way to help garages convert more advisory work (by up to 25%), improve customer retention and increase referrals. The addition of this vital consumer information is just one more innovation that we offer as part of our commitment to continuously strive to offer industry-leading solutions to the automotive industry.
You can find out more about the ‘Your Car Your Choice’ campaign and how to support it here. As a supplier to the automotive industry, you can support the cause and add your name/logo too!
The Chesterfield event was the first of its kind, but we look forward to seeing the roll-out of the campaign across the whole of the UK in the coming months.
†figures courtesy of GiPA
*Spare parts used must be of OE-matching quality and are recorded as such. Vehicle must be serviced in accordance with the vehicle manufacturer service schedules.