My car still has a manufacturer’s warranty. My Dealer tells me that this will be affected if you service my vehicle?

This is not so. Ford, who own Land Rover, have already stated that any competent workshop can service their vehicles without infringing warranty. The EU guidelines on competition require this freedom of choice for vehicle owners, although they have added that “equivalent quality parts” must be used, so that poor quality, unreliable parts are not fitted.

It is now an offence to make this claim, and we will pass on to the Office of Fair Trading any allegations that are reported to us.

My Dealer tells me that the residual value of my vehicle will be less, when I come to change it, if it has not been serviced by a franchised Dealer. Is this true?

No. The value of your car is determined principally by its mileage, general condition, and service history. These factors are taken into account by companies like Glass’s Guide, who advise the Motor Trade on residual values, and they make no mention of any reduction in value if the servicing has been done by a competent specialist.

Unscrupulous franchised Dealers may want to persuade you that this is the case, so that you accept a lower Trade-in value, but you should check values in a number of publications that are generally available. Alternatively, many of our Members buy and sell vehicles, and would be pleased to make you a counter offer if you are unhappy with the offer from your Dealer.

How can your prices be so low? Are you sure you are doing the job properly?

Franchised Dealers have to pay for expensive showrooms, and suchlike, largely out of the profits made from selling labour and spare parts. Independents operate from modest premises with far lower overhead costs. Their service rates are significantly less than the Dealer average (as quoted by the BBC). Spare parts prices for service and repair items are also often far less than the recommended retail price of Motor Manufacturer for equivalent quality parts.

We not only do the job properly, but in some cases the servicing schedules used by our Members are more thorough than those used by the franchised Dealers where our collective experience shows that they should be.