Regulation of Independant Garages

Most people who leave school, college or university with an interest in vehicle mechanics will almost certainly go on to work as an employee at a garage, whether that be as part of a main dealer, specialist or a general independent. However, those with an entrepreneurial spirit and ‘drive’ to go that ‘extra mile’ may decide to open their very own vehicle repair garage. These business-minded individuals must be aware that starting a garage from scratch involves a lot more than just fixing cars – so what do you require? Well, as with any business, you must have initial knowledge of advertising, accounting, marketing – and a consciousness of the start-up costs involved… but that’s it… no qualifications needed, no regulations to meet and no educational laws essential? Nope, none, nothing, not at all. You’re probably sat reading this just as shocked as we are. In fact, anyone can open a garage, no checks, no qualifications no requirements.

It doesn’t stop there, auto entrepreneurs can make things easier for themselves by purchasing an existing garage, which in hand, will have all if not most of the necessary equipment needed and perhaps even some local customers from the area. No matter which way you go about it, it’s that simple.

How do you feel knowing that throughout your lifetime, you’ve probably willingly left your safety in the hands of an organisation that has no mechanical qualifications, no legal checks and no regulations to meet…AT ALL?!

The homeowners amongst those of you will be aware of the strict regulations engineers have to meet when carrying out work on your boiler, heat pump or any source of heat as an example, because it significantly affects SAFETY. HETAS is a not-for-profit ‘national organisationworking for consumer safety and the wider public interest in safe, efficient and environmentally responsible use of biomass and other solid fuels.’

Just to put it into perspective, here’s a small condensed list of what they do:

  • –  Provide robust evidence to influence national/EU standards for appliances fuels and installation
  • –  List appliances and fuels that meet the standards
  • –  Register properly trained, competent installers, service engineers and chimney sweeps,who meet the appropriate standards
  • –  Approving training centres for all who work in the sector
  • –  Provide up-to-date advice to businesses, consumers and regulators
  • –  Engage with national and local government to help minimise any adverse impact of thesector as a whole on wider society.

(www.hetas.co.uk/about-hetas/purpose, 2019)

At this point you’re probably thinking, well if all of these regulations apply due to safety, then surely ensuring that vehicles are fit for the roads, correctly repaired, maintained and regulated to strict standards is a given? Unfortunately, still no.

I’m sure we can all agree that even if there were strict laws, regulations and qualifications in place, it would not then instantly eradicate all mechanical mistakes. Human error will always be present, that’s a worldwide fact – nobody is perfect, not even the main dealers. However, mistakes can be made because of different reasons, one being cost, one being unqualified staff and one being the lack of strictly enforced regulations, causing inconsistencies across the industry.

If you’re looking for an example, take a look at this LinkedIn post –

We’ve now done a full ‘doughnut’ and we’re back to the main question… why do more people not use independent garages?

Do you go to the main dealer because you know what you’re going to get – a brand you trust?

To this day we’re still mind-blown as to why garages aren’t regulated similar to other industries that directly affect consumer safety. The fact that anyone can work on someone’s car without being certified is something that needs to be addressed.

To end, we’re going to tell you a little bit more about how we at QT tackle this issue in the motor industry by following our own internal set of regulations. As you know, we offer a highly competitive alternative to main dealers with a personal and direct service. We pride ourselves in customer communication, ensuring that our customers are kept up-to-date every step of the way. Delivering exceptional value for money, our vast knowledge, latest equipment and customer centric approach ensures QT is a brand you can trust. All of our techs have VAG experience and are all qualified unless they’re taken on as an apprentice, which will give them the qualifications we require. We have 3 Master Technicians with a combined 53 years experience in dealing with VAG who work alongside 5 Service Technicians who are also vastly experienced in their field.

We’re proud to look out for not just our own customers but every driver on the road, making you aware of the requirements needed to open a garage. We hope after reading this you’re more cautious with who you trust to carry out repair work on your vehicle, cost effective or not.