New Car
Code FAQ

New Car Warranties

What does a new vehicle warranty provide?

A new vehicle warranty will be supplied with all UK specification vehicles purchased through a UK authorised dealer. The warranty will usually cover the vehicle for a set period of time or up to a maximum mileage. (Please check your warranty booklet or with your authorised dealer for the cover on your vehicle)

The aim of the warranty is to cover the cost of those components which fail as a result of a manufacturing defect during the warranty period. It will, therefore, exclude those items which are subject to normal wear and tear, such as brake pads and those that have failed as the result of driver negligence, abuse or error. (Please check the terms and conditions within your warranty)

Can I have repair work that is covered under my vehicles manufacturer's warranty completed at a non-franchised dealership?

No, repair work undertaken outside the approved dealer network may invalidate the manufacturer’s warranty.

What warranty is provided with imported vehicles?

Any new car that is sold within any member country of the European Union has a one year manufacturer's pan-European warranty, although some manufacturers have now extended this to two or even three years.

The pan-European warranty will be honoured at any of the manufacturer’s UK authorised dealers but will not include an extended or dealer warranty, which can normally be purchased separately from your local dealer.

It is very important to check the warranty provisions with the importer to ensure that you will receive the full benefit of the pan-European warranty. The warranty on a vehicle which is not imported through a UK authorised dealer may have commenced at the point of sale to the third party importer and therefore you may not receive the full period of the pan-European warranty.

The manufacturer/dealer will not supply me with a courtesy vehicle. Do they have to?

There is no legal obligation on a manufacturer/dealer to supply their customers with a courtesy vehicle. A courtesy vehicle may be supplied by an authorised dealer as a discretionary service and, therefore, we would recommend contacting the dealer to request a courtesy vehicle before booking your vehicle in for service or rectification work.

Furthermore, the dealer is within their rights to charge a fee for this service, which in most cases is to cover the insurance cost of the courtesy vehicle.

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Spare Parts

There is a delay in the arrival of a spare part for my vehicle. What can I do?

Unfortunately, part delays occasionally occur; this can be for a number of reasons, such as raw material supply problems, problems with the part manufacturer, quality issues with a particular batch or the need to develop a modified component to address an identified issue.

If you are concerned by any delay, we recommend that you, initially, contact the dealer from whom you ordered the part(s) to ascertain the cause of the delay and to establish if anything can be done to address the issue.

If the dealer is unable to provide you an expected delivery date we would advise that you contact the customer services department of the relevant manufacturer.

If the dispute remains unresolved then you can contact our advice team on 0800 692 0825.

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Enquiries and Complaints

What do I do if I want to complain about my new vehicle?

In the first instance you would complain to your dealership. The complaint, preferably in writing, should be addressed to a senior executive, director, or the proprietor of the selling dealer.

If the dealership is unable to resolve the matter, you should take the complaint directly to the customer relations department of the manufacturer concerned. If the manufacturer is unable to resolve a complaint you may contact or be referred by the manufacturer to Motor Codes.

How do I contact Motor Codes?

To submit a complaint or enquiry:

  • call our advice line on 0800 692 0825
  • Submit your enquiry to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or use the contact us form .
  • Write to:

    Motor Codes
    PO Box 44755
    London
    SW1X 7WU

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Conciliation and arbitration

What is conciliation?

Conciliation is a dispute resolution process which, under the Code, aims to resolve disputes between a motorist and manufacturer. Motor Codes will investigate a complaint, assess whether there has been any breach of the Code and aim to resolve complaints to the satisfaction of both parties, in a speedy fashion with as little disruption as possible.

Some cases can be more complex and may require further evidence such as a techncial report to support the claim.  

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 result of an arbitration hearing will be the conclusion of a case and legally binding on both parties, the results of which will be assessed to determine whether any Code compliance issues have been raised and to consider if any Code amendments are required to address any specific problems. Arbitration is legally binding, and there are only limited circumstances where a case already considered under the terms of the Arbitration Act can then proceed to court.

Is there a fee for conciliation or arbitration?

There is no fee involved to use the conciliation service.

There is a fee if you decide to refer the case to arbitration and this would depend on how much you are claiming for.

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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 authorised dealer network you must ensure that the service is completed in accordance with the manufacturers 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?

Yes, issues relating to new car warranties are covered by the New Car Code. You can view a copy of the Code from the website.

Alternatively contact Motor Codes on 0800 692 0825 to discuss your query further so that we can assess what further advice and or action we can offer.

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Legal Issues

What standard must goods meet (including motor vehicles and spare parts)?

The Sale of Goods Act 1979 states “Goods will be of satisfactory quality if they meet the standard that a reasonable person would regard as being satisfactory, taking into account any description of the goods, the price (if relevant) and all the other relevant circumstances.”

The quality of the goods includes its state and condition, fitness for usual purpose, appearance and finish, freedom from minor defects, safety and durability.

This standard is implied in the sale of goods, but will not include those matters which are drawn to the buyer’s attention at the point of sale or those matters which ought to have been revealed by an inspection, if conducted by the buyer before the contract is made.

Can I reject my vehicle?

Rejection of a vehicle is very difficult. A consumer can attempt to reject their vehicle, if it fails to be of satisfactory quality (please see preceding question) and is initiated within a reasonable period of time.

A reasonable period of time refers to the period of time in which the consumer could be expected to have examined the vehicle and discover any discoverable defects. What is reasonable will depend upon the facts of each case.

Remember it may be asked that you give the seller a reasonable opportunity to resolve the issues with a new vehicle in the first instance so it is worth exploring all solutions. 

If you have not done so you may want to speak to the manufacturer directly. If the manufcaturer is unable to offer repair or remedy to your vehicle you can contact Motor Codes on 0800 692 0825.

If however you do wish to reject your vehicle then you will need to stop using it immediately and notify the seller whom your contract of sale lies with. This will usually be the selling dealer and/or finance company and not the manufacturer.

You should notify them of your intention to reject the vehicle and on what grounds. This should preferably be in writing allowing them 14 days to respond.You can quote your legal rights under the Sale of Goods Act outlining why you believe the vehicle to be either not of satisfactory quality and or fit for puspose.

If no ammicable resolution can be reached at this stage then we would suggest that you seek advice from your solicitor, or contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau to establish any potential case you may have.

Can I get a refund or am I entitled to a replacement?

Consumers may be entitled to reject their goods and obtain a full refund where the goods are not of satisfactory quality, providing that they attempt to reject the goods within a reasonable period of time.

Retailers are not legally obligated to replace faulty goods. The myth that consumers are legally entitled to have faulty goods replaced has grown from the practice of high street stores offering to exchange any faulty goods by way of customer relations goodwill and not because of any legal obligation to do so.

However consumers who purchase goods after 1st April 2003 benefit from some additional legal remedies as a result of recent changes to consumer legislation by the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002. Consumers now have the right to require the seller to repair or replace their goods if they do not conform to the contract. Consumers should be aware that the seller is not obliged to effect a repair or replacement if the cost is disproportionate to the cost of carrying out another remedy, if the required remedy is impossible, or if it is not capable of being delivered within a reasonable period of time. If the goods cannot be repaired or replaced the consumer can require the seller to reduce the purchase price by an appropriate amount or rescind the contract.

It is important to note that the new rights under the regulations only apply to consumer sales, which are contracts where a natural person, is acting outside their trade, business or profession.

I want to claim compensation. Am I entitled to this?

Compensation or damages is another remedy provided for under the Sale of Goods Act 1979. If the right to reject or replace your vehicle has been lost, but the vehicle has become of unsatisfactory quality due to an inherent fault, a consumer may be able to make a claim against the seller and/or finance company for compensation for losses that you have incurred.

We would suggest that you seek advice from your solicitor, or contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Trading Standards office before attempting to seek compensation or if you have problems in obtaining compensation.

Who can I make the claim against and can I sue the manufacturer?

Your contract of sale is with the selling dealer or finance company, if the vehicle was purchased on finance. This contract will be governed by the Sale of Goods Act 1979 or the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002.

In addition to your statutory rights, your vehicle may, depending on age have a warranty agreement with the relevant manufacturer. This agreement is a guarantee from the manufacturer to repair the vehicle if it suffers a failure as a result of a manufacturing or material defect.

Any claim to reject the vehicle, have the vehicle replaced or requests for compensation should be directed to the selling dealer/finance company and not the manufacturer of the vehicle.

 

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Franchised dealer issues

I have a complaint against a dealer or garage. Who should I contact?

If you wish to make a complaint regarding the service you have received from a franchised dealer you should initially address your complaint to the managing director/owner. Should you be dissatisfied with their response you should escalate any complaint to the customer services department of the manufacturer concerned who may be able to assist.

If your complaint relates to any garage in the UK, including authorised dealers, you may also refer your complaint to Motor Codes, providing it is against a subscribing garage. Further information regarding the Service & Repair Code can be found on this website or by calling our advice line on 0800 692 0825. Alternatively you may wish to contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau or solicitor.

I have paid a deposit and now want to cancel the order. Can I get my money back?

Once you pay a deposit you have entered into a legally binding contract. Should you subsequently decide to cancel the contract the dealer/garage is within their rights to keep a reasonable sum of the deposit to cover any expenses they may have incurred. This position is of course subject to the provision of any term in the contract which states otherwise, such as a cooling off period.

The dealer no longer exists. What can I do?

The closing of your selling dealer will not affect the manufacturer’s warranty applicable to your new vehicle. This warranty is supplied by the manufacturer and therefore you are able to have the service and any warranty repair work completed at any of the manufacturer’s UK authorised dealers.

However, this position may affect your rights under the contract of sale with the selling dealer and subsequently your legal rights against that dealer if you have a need to seek redress under the law.

If the dealer remains in operation, but is no longer authorised by the manufacturer your contract of sale may remain in force and your legal rights may be unaltered.

If the dealer has closed, has been sold or has gone into administration it may prove very difficult or impossible to enforce your legal rights.

Alternatively, if you have purchased your vehicle from a dealer who is part of a multinational dealer group your contract may be with the group, rather than an individual dealer, therefore you may be able to exercise your legal rights against the group.

Of course if you purchased the vehicle under a finance agreement the finance company is legally responsible for the quality of your vehicle and therefore you will be entitled to pursue your legal rights against the finance company.

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Code Documents

What is the New Car Code?

The New Car Code sets out the standards that vehicle manufacturers comply with regarding new car warranties, availability of replacement parts, advertising and complaints handling. The Code details promises given by vehicle manufacturers and contains guidance to assist the consumer.

Where can I get a copy of the Code?

Copies of the Code can be obtained from vehicle manufacturers or can be downloaded from this website. Download the Code.

What is the Brief Guide?

The Brief Guide is a leaflet companion to the Code. It contains basic information on the Code, the Consumer Advice Line and Conciliation and Arbitration. It also contains the Consumer Survey.

 

Where can I get a copy of the Brief Guide?

Most manufacturers put the brief guide into the new car literature pack of their new cars. Copies can also be obtained from vehicle manufacturer or can be downloaded from this website. Download the Brief Guide.

What is the Consumer Survey?

The Consumer Survey is contained within the Brief Guide and can be completed and returned to the Motor Codes. The feedback received from the Consumer Survey provides Motor Codes with information on each subscriber's performance and is a further tool to help gauge a garage's overall performance and compliance with the Code.

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Monitoring Performance

How are subscribers monitored?

A combination of methods is used to ensure that all subscribers comply with the Code. The following methods are used to ensure compliance.

  • Consumer Survey

The Consumer Survey is a free post, tear off survey in the Brief Guide that you can complete. This can also be completed via our website. 

  • Complaints and Conciliation Cases

We monitor subscriber performance in responding to complaints and enquiries and how they interact with our advice service.

  • Points based performance monitoring/non-compliance sanctions

To ensure that poor subscribers do not tarnish the good reputation of the Code, subscribers that perform poorly will incur penalty points. If subscribers reach set levels of points a series of progressive sanctions will be triggered, which can ultimately result in expulsion from the Code.

Who monitors the code?

The Code is monitored by the Independent Compliance Assessment Panel (ICAP) which, in turn, is overseen 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 sector.

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Extended Warranties

I have an issues with my vehicle that is covered by an extended warranty that I purchased from a garage subscribed to the code, is this covered by the code?

If your issues relate to the extended warranty policy and policy provider then it may be covered by the Vehicle Warranty Products Code. Contact us on 0800 692 0825.

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Fuel consumption

My vehicle is not producing the same fuel consumption figures as stated in the manufacturer's brochure what should I do?

Fuel consumption figures are produced per regulatory requirements by vehicle manufacturers to give consumers an indication of fuel consumption between different vehicle makes and models. They are not indicative of the precise mileage which the vehicle will achieve on the road.

The fuel consumption figures are obtained under highly controlled conditions to ensure uniformity across all tested vehicles. These conditions do not take into account real world factors which will affect the fuel consumption. Factors such as the weight the vehicle is carrying, driving style and extra feature use such as air conditioning will all affect the real world figure a vehicle achieves.

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Subscribers

Is it a legal requirement for manufacturers to sign up to the Code?

There is no obligation for manufacturers to sign up to the Code and is entirely voluntary.

Which manufacturers subscribe to the Code?

Over 99% of all new cars sold in the UK are covered by the Code, so the majority of vehicle manufacturers subscribe to the Code. Full list here

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