Did you know that servicing your car with an independent workshop like our own does not, and cannot, in any way violate or nullify any manufacturer’s warranty or guarantee, due to EU law?

This law, which is part of EU Block Exemption Regulations, makes it illegal for any manufacturer (or vehicle importer / distributor / main dealer) to suggest or insist on any vehicle being serviced in their respective main dealer network in order to keep valid a cars manufacturer based warranty.

The Block Exemption Regulation is a European Commission law meaning that motorists can have their vehicle serviced or repaired in any chosen workshop without invalidating their manufacturer’s warranty.

Prior to 2003, automobile owners in the EU region risked nullifying their vehicle warranties when the vehicles were serviced or repaired in workshops not belonging to the vehicle manufacturer or its dealers.

This barrier was broken in October 2003, when the European Commission (EC) passed the Block Exemption Regulation law allowing vehicle owners the freedom of having their servicing and repairs done at their chosen workshop. On 1st June 2010 European Union legislation, ‘Block Exemption Regulations 461/2010 came into force. This BER certainly gives the motorist far more freedom in deciding who will repair or service their vehicles, as well as the flexibility and benefit to reduce the amount spent on servicing.

The Commission’s new rules will increase competition in the market for repair and maintenance by improving access for non-franchised repair workshops, like ours, to technical information needed for servicing or repairs and by making it easier to use alternative spare parts.

Anyone requiring technical information will have the right to access it in a usable form at a reasonable cost on a manufacturers based service portal. They will allow the Commission to tackle manufacturers’ abuse of warranties when they request that cars are serviced only in authorised garages.

And, as importantly, the regulations specifiy that where a manufacturer or brand uses an online system for service history recording that reasonable access be granted to non franchised dealers and repairers in order to update a vehicles service history.

Brands that use digital service history systems that we have official access to include BMW, MINI, Audi, Volkswagen, Mazda to name a few. Many brands still use normal 'service books' for keeping official service records of which our regular service 'stamp' is as valid as a main dealers stamp for recognition of a properly completed service schedule.

Right to Repair

A later revision of the Block Exemption Regulations introduced four freedoms aimed at safeguarding free competition in the entire market for vehicle spare parts, repair and service. Workshops no longer have to use vehicle manufacturer OE parts to ensure a vehicle maintains its warranty. Parts can be sourced from any supplier as long as they are of appropriate or ‘matching’ quality. This means that the spare parts must match the quality of the components which are or were used for the assembly of the motor vehicles in question.

Parts manufacturers must also be able to issue quality certification. All parts we supply and fit comply with the requirements of article 17 of the Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation 461/210 meaning that all parts we supply can be fitted in vehicles without invalidating warranties.

If you would like to ask us any questions in relation to our service offerings or indeed on the above topic of block exemption regulations and how it affects you and your car please do not hesitate to fill in the form below. The system will acknowledge your request and we will be back to you the same or next working day with a reply.

You can read more about EU Block Exemption Regulations on the European Commissions Website by clicking the following link.