THE new Motor Ombudsman launched today with a warning that nearly half of the nation’s drivers (43 per cent) put their safety at risk along with the welfare of other road users by avoiding taking their car to a garage despite suspecting a fault.
New research of 1,000 UK drivers has found that the major barriers to seeking professional garage advice are ‘not being able to explain what’s wrong with their car’ (35 per cent) and ‘feeling intimidated by the garage’ (32 per cent).
Also, 38 per cent of motorists have skipped having their car serviced, with the biggest concern a fear of overcharging (36 per cent).
Furthermore, 57 per cent of drivers who have experienced an unresolved dispute with their garage did not know where to turn to for help resolving the issue. This is where The Motor Ombudsman steps in – the first ombudsman specifically for the automotive sector built on a track record of successfully resolving more than 99 per cent of disputes for nearly a decade under the Motor Codes name.
It is responsible for providing an impartial service between consumers and its 7,500 accredited businesses to resolve motoring-related disagreements outside of the courtroom.
This helps to reduce stress, and the time and money involved in bringing disputes to an end.
Vehicle owners can now feel confident that when handing their car over for repairs at any of The Motor Ombudsman-accredited garages, they will be able to enjoy a high standard of service and deal with professional experts in the unlikely event of a dispute.
Jodie Kidd, the spokesperson for the launch of The Motor Ombudsman, says: ‘I definitely understand that not knowing too much about cars can put people off taking their car to the garage – no-one wants to draw attention to their ignorance!
‘Another big worry is the cost associated with the work that needs to be done, meaning we’re skipping services.
‘Having a reliable guide to help find a reputable garage with credible professionals fills us with confidence and allows us to address any potential issues. In the rare event of a dispute, The Motor Ombudsman can provide a free of charge un-biased service ensuring peace of mind and a stress free experience.’
Bill Fennell, chief ombudsman and managing director of The Motor Ombudsman, added: ‘Our ultimate aim is to give consumers peace of mind, ease relations between garages and motorists and find the fairest solution for both parties should a dispute arise.
‘All our accredited garages comply with our comprehensive Trading Standards-approved Codes of Practice and our service is completely free for the public.’
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