Drivers Facing Higher Repair Costs.
UK vehicle part suppliers are urging the government to veto a proposal they say would cost the average car owner an extra £100 on repairs.
Euro Car Parts claims new ‘block exemption rules’ being considered by the European Union (EU) would prevent local garages using cheaper, aftermarket parts that aren’t endorsed or sold through the vehicle manufacturer.
Its CEO Andy Hamilton told The Telegraph such a move would cost UK drivers an additional £2.4 billion in annual repair bills – money he says would “go straight into the hands of manufacturers” and damage independent businesses.
Whether or not the UK would follow the EU’s lead on new rules depends on a Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recommendation to government, after a No.10 spokesman confirmed the UK “does not automatically follow any new EU competition rules”.
A final decision on any ban, which would start from 2023, will be made by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.
More than 30,000 independent garages currently operate across the UK, employing in the region of 350,000 mechanics.
There are concerns that any hike in repair costs would hit drivers of ageing vehicles the hardest – forcing them to pay the higher costs more regularly than drivers of newer models.
The threat of higher costs comes as drivers experience escalating prices at the pumps. Petrol prices hit an eight-year high last week, off the back of 32 successive weeks of rises.
Latest figures from RAC Fuel Watch show that a litre of unleaded petrol currently averages at 133.84p at forecourts across the country, with diesel costing drivers 135.67p a litre.