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Service and Repair
Code FAQ's and advice
The Code promotes and safeguards consumer interests by helping motorists identify better businesses and to encourage garages to maintain high standards of customer service. You should have the confidence that Code Subscribers:
- Are committed to treating consumers fairly.
- Will 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 subscribing garages are subject to AA Inspections and have to operate in accordance with the promises set out in the Service & Repair Code.
If you need advice about the service received or are dissatisfied with a garage you should contact Motor Codes.
Finding garages subscribed to the Code
How do I know if my nearest garage is subscribed to the Code?
You can use the Garage Finder to search for Motor Codes garages in your area. Just enter your town or postcode and click search.
Garages subscribed to the code will display their certificate of registration within their reception area and have copies of the Brief Guide available.
If you have a complaint about a garage
What do I do if I want to complain about a garage?
In the first instance you would complain to the garage concerned. Any verbal complaints will be dealt with immediately and letters should 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.
If the garage subscribes to Motor Codes then you can refer the dispute to advisory and conciliation service.
How do I contact Motor Codes?
To submit a complaint or enquiry:
- Call our freephone consumer advice line on 0843 910 9000
- Submit your enquiry online
- Write to:
- Motor Codes,
71 Great Peter Street,
My garage do not subscribe to Motor Codes what Can I do?
Unfortunately if the garage do not subscribe to Motor Codes then we will be unable to offer conciliation or arbitration for your dispute. You will therefore be relying on your legal rights to resolve your dispute.
Conciliation and arbitration
What is conciliation?
Conciliation is a dispute resolution process which, under the Code, aims to resolve disputes between a consumer and subscriber. Motor Codes will investigate a consumer complaint and assess whether there has been any breach of the Code. We 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 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.
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 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?
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 0843 910 9000.
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 relates to the extended warranty policy and policy provider then contact us on 0843 910 9000 to receive advice on the Vehicle Warranty Products Code.
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 your enquiry to the garage. If you wish to progress an issue further then contact Motor Codes.
Can I request the garage hold 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.
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.
Every subscribing garage undergoes regular inspections, carried out by the AA, to ensure that they are complying with the Code and meeting their Code promises to you. Checks are unannounced.
The Consumer Survey is a free post, 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. It can also be completed online, via this website. Complete the Survey now for your chance to win back the cost of your service or repair.
Complaints and conciliation cases
We monitor garage performance in responding to complaints and enquiries and how they interact with advisory and conciliation 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 garages 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 monitored by Trading Standards Institute (TSI). 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 an annual report to TSI and determining what, if any penalties, or sanctions should be taken against garages that fail to correct a breach or are seen to be in persistent, or serious breach of the Code. ICAP is independent of the sector.