Quality garage standards motorists should know

Quality garage standards motorists should know

24 Jan

By Steph Savill

In an industry where anyone can set up a service and repair ‘garage’ without prior checks or ongoing regulation, it’s important to know how to single out the local businesses that have done this honourably and professionally by investing in quality staff and the latest business standards.
If all UK garages had to be regulated, not just MOT ones, then motorists would be able to rely on minimum quality standards at all times and to expect the industry to police these on their behalf.
Sadly, UK garages aren’t regulated when it comes to general car repairs and as a result mechanics don’t have to be licensed to do their work. This explains why there are too many complaints alongside tales of shoddy workmanship and over charging in this sector.
So how can the average motorist check for the quality credentials that will prove their local garage has invested in being one of the best in their area?

How to identify the best garages

Trust me - it isn’t easy for a lay person to identify the best garages based on measurable quality standards - but I can help here.
For starters, the majority of garages work hard to do the right thing for ALL motorists so it’s a real shame that a few unscrupulous ones are allowed to trade and let the rest down.
Fortunately, there are many excellent garages, like Protyre centres of course, that go the extra mile for motorists, whether male or female. These are the ones we’d all prefer to favour, given a value for money price based on customer service that meet our needs.

If you are you unsure where your local Protyre garage is then enter your postcode into their garage locator to out. Alternatively, select a garage via the regional list below the map.
If you start by reading the garage’s ‘About Us’ page at their website this is typically where they’ll talk about their quality credentials, staff training policy and any in-house apprentice scheme. Little pleases me more than to walk into a well-maintained and clean garage to see a Certificate Wall – showing who has been on what garage training course and when. This proves that a business is proud of their training commitment and is determined to stay ahead of the competition whilst keeping up to date with automotive technology, including the growing range of alternative fuelled cars, in future.
Thereafter if a garage states they are a member of a Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) Code of Practice ‘service and repair’ scheme, that’s another measurable quality standard. Such schemes are run by Bosch Car Service, The Motor Ombudsman, Trust My Garage and the RAC. The easy way to check for a current subscription is to look for the green and purple CTSI logo at the garage website and click on this link for authenticity. Hopefully nothing will go wrong when you visit this business but if it does, you can involve the CTSI sponsoring organisation if all else fails.

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In the case of tyre centres selling a range of tyre services (but not general garage services like car servicing) several leading tyre brands identify and recommend the best tyre centres including; Pirelli and Michelin in particular. Again if you have a problem with the business, you can involve extra parties, subject to any complaint-resolution terms and conditions.
Nowadays wary women drivers can choose a ‘female friendly approved’ garage or tyre centre that has signed a promise to ‘never overcharge, patronise or sell women anything they don’t need.’ Of course, few garages would do this but too many women worry that this could happen to them, having have heard tales from others - hence the appeal of the scheme operated by FOXYChoice.com.
And finally, if a garage has won industry awards, you can be sure they were up against stiff opposition and, winner or not, that this has raised their standards for the future!
NB: All Protyre centres subscribe to The Motor Ombudsman CTSI Code of Practice Approved service & repair scheme and the FOXY Lady Approved female friendly garage and tyre centre networks. 2019 was a bumper year for Protyre Awards, including marketing, digital, tyre industry, road safety and campaigns in conjunction with leading tyre manufacturers. 
For More Information
For CTSI service and repair schemes see https://www.tradingstandards.uk/commercial-services/code-sponsors
For ‘female friendly approved’ garages and tyre centres in the UK see https://www.foxychoice.com/
For industry awards see https://www.autoindustryawards.co.uk/
For Michelin Certified Tyre Centres see https://www.michelin.co.uk/auto/dealer-locator
For Pirelli Performance Tyre Centres see https://www.pirelli.com/tyres/en-gb/car/dealers-and-services

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