At the end of 2020, the Competition Commission released new regulations which concerned the servicing and maintenance of vehicles. Known as the Right to Repair, car owners will be allowed to use any service provider as well as non-original parts without the risk of losing the manufacturer warranty.
When buying a new car, the warranty stops you from having non-original parts fitted as well as preventing you from having your car serviced at a non-franchised dealership. If you chose to ignore the warranty requirement then the warranty from the manufacturer is voided.
Compared to OEM parts and franchised dealerships, third-party services and non-original parts are cheaper. So being able to able to go to non-franchise service centres and use non-original parts will save you money from 1st July 2021 without being penalised.
It Might Be Cheaper, But is it Easier?
However, this can get complicated. If you have non-original parts fitted and those parts fail then you will need to claim from the part supplier. This can become a headache as the supplier would then have to claim from the manufacturer. Previously, this type of claim would have been handled by the franchise without you needing to do much, but now it will become more complex.
If you have decided to opt-out of a service plan, then it will be your responsibility to keep track of your car’s service schedule and stick to it. Taking your car for service when it is due will maintain the reliability of your vehicle and keep it in the best condition, which will prove to be worthwhile when it comes to reselling your vehicle.
It can also become a pain though to get your car serviced as you will need to find a service centre that is equipped with the right equipment and expertise for your vehicle. This is easier said than done as modern vehicles are now complex, which will require specialised equipment.
Savings or Financing?
Financial planning will also be involved if you choose to have your car serviced independently.
Many new car buyers will finance the vehicle, which in turn means that the service plan is also financed. This is why, when you take your car for a service or have a part replaced, you don’t get a huge financial shock.
However, when you use a third party, you need to ensure that you will be able to pay for the services when they are due or being able to pay out of pocket for a part.
Even so, the Right to Repair will give car owners more choice and freedom, which can save you money and save your warranty.