Garages should get business rate relief, says IGA, and tells members to cancel their direct debits

Time 11:42 am, April 3, 2020

The Independent Garage Association is encouraging members to cancel direct debits to local councils for as it seeks to get them included for business rate relief.

It told Car Dealer Magazine today that some garages had been applying for the vital concession but they had been rejected as they weren’t retail businesses, so it wants them to appeal against those rejections. It is also encouraging members to apply for it in the first place, as they are vital to help keep the UK running.

The organisation has released guidance for members, with chief executive Stuart James saying: ‘We have spoken with many garages throughout the escalation of the coronavirus pandemic, and access to this rate relief makes a difference to the length of time their business can survive with reduced or no income, despite being designated by the government as an essential service.

‘Although most garage premises are classed as industrial rather than retail, all member businesses are open to the public and offer services such as MOT testing and vehicle repairs, and goods including replacement parts.

‘It is vital that garages remain open to ensure that key workers have safe and reliable vehicles, therefore they should have the same benefits as any other retail outlets.’

And he added: ‘The IGA believes that independent garages should be included within the definition of retail premises. We are working hard to obtain further clarification from the government, and in the meantime encourage members to cancel their direct debits and challenge their local authority.’

IGA members can find the guidance and template letter in the Members’ Area of its website.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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