Motorists should be able to choose their own repairer

Posted: 15 February 2019 6:05 am

RACQ: Establishing a mandatory repairer code will put motorists "in the driver's seat and allow them to make an informed choice about where they get their car fixed".

RACQ is publicly backing a call for Queensland drivers to have more say over where their vehicle is serviced or repaired. The statement is in response to a recent government-commissioned report which investigated the establishment of a car industry repairer code. This regulation, if introduced, would give independent car mechanics access to previously controlled information.

What's the problem?

You may be wondering, "Why should I care if a mechanic gets increased access to car repair and parts information?"

You see, modern cars are related more closely to computers than the first four-wheeled vehicles produced. Things have progressed rapidly, to the point where just the navigation system on your car alone could have three times the number of lines of code than an entire Boeing 787 Dreamliner!

This increasing complexity has required the creation of additional repair volumes for each car model. In 2000, a typical car would have between one and three workshop repair manuals. In 2010, the same car could have over 30! Dealers often also have to purchase expensive, brand-specific diagnostic machines and specialist tools.

"Vehicle manufacturers typically restrict diagnostic and repair information to their network of authorised dealers, so motorists are currently very limited to where they can seek help – often at times when they need it most," RACQ's head of technical and safety division Steve Spalding said in a statement.

What will the lobbied for changes mean for me?

According to Spalding, vehicle owners will benefit from these amendments.

"For motorists, this change will put them back in the driver's seat and allow them to make an informed choice about where they get their car fixed. Meanwhile, independent repairers would be better able to compete with the dealer networks in offering servicing and repairs on late model vehicles," said Spalding.

Put simply, there will be more competition, which should help keep repair costs at reasonable levels. And with everyone getting access to the much-needed repair info, you'll have a wider choice of repair centres to use when your car next encounters problems.

In car news

Picture: Shutterstock

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