Block Exemption Guide

How we can service your car under its dealer warranty

What is Block Exemption? A guide for motorists and independent repairersBER

In October 2003 European Union legislation, ‘Block Exemption Regulations 1400/2002’ (BER) came into force
This gave motorists more freedom in their decision as to who should repair and service their vehicles – now any garage can be used without invalidating the manufacturer’s warranty (subject to certain conditions)

This was as a result of four specific ‘freedoms’ that were introduced, aimed at safeguarding free competition in the entire market for vehicle spare parts, service and repair. These meant:

· Parts distributors can supply parts of the appropriate quality to dealers and authorised repairers without
the vehicle manufacturer / assembler using ‘dealer / repairer contracts’ or other means to prevent them
· Parts manufacturers can no longer be forced by their original equipment (OE) contract to limit supply of
parts to the vehicle manufacturer / assembler
· Parts manufacturers can supply OE products under their own brand so motorists and repairers will not feel
they have to go to a main dealer for a certain part
· Anyone with a legitimate need for technical information has a right of access to it in a usable form and
at a reasonable cost

The BER covers service and maintenance during the warranty period and prohibits vehicle manufacturers’ warranties from including conditions requiring that:
· All normal maintenance be provided within the vehicle manufacturer’s network
· All parts used must be the manufacturer’s original spare parts

The European Commission declared that such clauses in a warranty document would represent ‘an unjustified restriction for the consumer’

The Automotive Distribution Federation (ADF have written proof from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) that:

Independent repairers CAN carry out normal maintenance and repair services during a vehicle’s warranty period without invalidating the warranty conditions provided that:

· The service is carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s servicing schedules and is recorded as such
· Any parts used are of ‘appropriate quality’ and are recorded as such