Repair Code FAQ
What is the Service & Repair Code?
The Code aims to promote and safeguard the interest of motorists by helping them identify garages committed to upholding high levels of customer service.
You should have the confidence that Code subscribers:
- Are committed to treating consumers fairly.
- Guarantee good customer service.
- Give consumers clear information about the goods or services they are selling.
- Have user-friendly, straightforward and quick procedures for dealing with customer complaints.
- Will use clear and fair contracts.
Why should I use a garage that is subscribed to the Code?
All garages subscribed to the Code are independently inspected and pledge to operate in accordance with Code guidelines.
If you are dissatisfied with the service you receive from a subscribing garage, Motor Codes is here to help answer your queries and, where necessary, offers a conciliation service.
Finding garages subscribed to the Code
How do I know if my nearest garage is a subscriber?
You can use the Garage Finder to search for your nearest Motor Codes garage. Just enter your town or postcode and click seach.
Garages subscribed to the Code will display their certificate of registration within their reception area and have copies of a Brief Guide available.
What is the Brief Guide?
The Brief Guide is a leaflet companion to the Code. It contains basic information on the Code and our advice service. It also provides a pre-contractual information check list and a copy of the Consumer Survey.
What is the Consumer Survey?
The Consumer Survey can be completed online or via the Brief Guide and returned to Motor Codes. The feedback received gives us information on each garage's performance and is a tool to help gauge compliance with the Code.
Where can I get a copy of the Code?
Copies of the Code are available for you to view at subscribging garages. You can also download/view a copy here
How do I get a copy of the Brief Guide?
Copies of the Brief Guide are available for you to view and take from the reception area of every subscribing garage. You can also view or download the Brief Guide here
If you need advice about a garage
What do I do if I have questions about service levels or want to complain about a garage?
In the first instance, you would contact the garage concerned. Any verbal complaints will be dealt with immediately and letters will receive an initial reply from the subscriber within 10 working days of receipt.
If attempts to reach a satisfactory solution fail, refer the complaint to Motor Codes.
How do I contact Motor Codes?
- Call our free advice line on 0800 692 0825.
- Submit your enquiry online
- Write to:
- Motor Codes
PO Box 44755
Conciliation and arbitration
What is conciliation?
Conciliation is a dispute resolution process which, under the Code, aims to resolve disputes between a motorist and garage. Motor Codes will investigate a complaint and assess whether there has been any breach of the Code and then aim to resolve complaints to the satisfaction of both parties and in a speedy fashion, with as little disruption as possible.
When will a case be referred to arbitration?
If a case remains unresolved or there is a difference of opinion that cannot be satisfactorily addressed through conciliation, the case can be referred to independent arbitration.
The case will be assessed to determine any breaches of the Code and if any Code amendments are required to address any specific problems. The result of an arbitration hearing will be legally binding on both parties.
How are subscribers monitored?
A combination of methods is used to ensure that all subscribing garages comply with the Code. The following methods are used to ensure compliance:
Every subscribing garage undergoes regular compliance checks, carried out by a RAC Inspector, to ensure that they are complying with the Code and meeting their Code promises to you. Checks are unannounced.
The Consumer Survey helps us gather information on service levels within our network of garages. It can be completed online or as a freepost, tear off survey in the Brief Guide that you can complete following a service and/or repair. The Brief Guide leaflet can be found in the reception or customer facing area of every subscribing garage.
Complaints and conciliation cases
We monitor performance in responding to complaints and enquiries and how garages interact with Motor Codes.
Points based performance monitoring/non-compliance sanctions
To ensure that poor performers do not tarnish the good reputation of the Code, subscribers that perform poorly will incur penalty points. If garages reach set levels of points, a series of progressive sanctions will be triggered, which can, ultimately, result in expulsion from Motor Codes.
Who monitors the code?
The Code is monitored by the Independent Compliance Assessment Panel (ICAP) which, in turn, is monitored by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). ICAP uses information from the Consumer Survey, compliance checks and consumer enquiries/complaints to monitor the effectiveness of the Code and individual garage performance.
This includes providing quarterly reports and an annual report to the OFT and determining what, if any, penalties or sanctions should be taken against garages who fail to correct a breach or who are seen to be in persistent, or serious breach of the Code. ICAP is independent of the garage sector.
Vehicle types and service/repair work covered by the Code
Are body repairs covered by the Code?
No, please refer any issues regarding the insurance and body repairs to the Vehicle Builders and Repairers Association
Are commercial vehicles covered by the Code?
Light and medium commercial vehicles are covered, but only where such vehicles are not used in the course of your trade, business or profession.
Are motorcycles covered by the Code?
No, please refer any issues regarding the servicing and/or repair of motorcycles to the Motor Cycle Industry Association
Servicing and new car warranties
Do I have to have my vehicle serviced at an authorised dealer?
You have the choice of having your vehicle serviced at an authorised dealer or with an independent garage. However, if you choose to have the vehicle serviced outside of the franchised dealer network, you must ensure that the service is completed in accordance with the manufacturer's recommended service intervals and servicing criteria. You also need to retain proof of the service, as this may be requested in the event of any warranty claim.
The recommended guidelines and service intervals will be provided within your service literature pack. We would strongly recommend that you read all of this information and seek clarification from the manufacturer if you are unsure on any particular point.
I have issues with a new vehicle warranty, is this covered by the code?
Issues relating to new car warranties are covered by the New Car Code. Find out more about the Code in the New Car Code section of this website.
Alternatively contact Motor Codes on 0800 692 0825.
I have an issue with my vehicle that is covered by an extended warranty purchased from a subscribing garage. Is this covered by the Code?
So that we can check the precise narture of your claim, please contact Motor Codes on 0800 692 0825.
Will the garage subscribed to the Code charge me more for the work it carries out than a non-member?
All garages are independent businesses and can set their own price structures. However, being subscribed to the Code should not affect their charges.
Is the garage allowed to complete work on my vehicle without first seeking my authorisation?
The garage is obligated under the Code to contact you prior to commencement of any additional work, giving you the opportunity to accept and agree a new completion time/date and cost or decline and exercise your right to cancel the booking.
If this has not been carried out then, in the first instance, you should refer the matter to the garage. If you wish to seek further advice, then contact Motor Codes.
Can I request that the garage holds onto any old parts they have replaced for me to view and examine?
Yes, all garages subscribed to the Code have agreed to keep any parts that have been replaced until you have collected your vehicle, in order to give you the opportunity to view and examine, unless otherwise agreed.
Is the garage allowed to ask me for a deposit or pre-payment before completing any service or repair work on my vehicle?
No, garages cannot ask for any deposits or payments from you before completing any service or repair work.