A guide to making a motor complaint

A customer making a complaint to a garage technician

As a nation we’re pretty good at complaining, aren’t we? Whether it’s about our tea being cold because we forgot to drink it or the fact that the cost of everything seems to be ever increasing. But another thing we love to complain about is all things motor related – from the person on the motorway to the price of petrol. It’s thought that between April and June 2017 there were over 9,000 enquiries to The Motor Ombudsman about how to make a formal complaint. One of the biggest queries was about the service we’ve received from garages. If you’re unhappy with service your vehicle got, keep reading to learn how to make a complaint!

Finding out if you can make a complaint

Before you start the tedious and lengthy process of complaining you should make sure that you can complain. The garage who did the work needs to be signed up to a Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) Code Of Practice scheme or the TMO. If they aren’t then your complaint won’t get very far.

Know the Consumer Rights Act 2015 like the back of your hand

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 is a great starting point to see whether or not you have received a reasonable service. You should refer to it before and after your vehicle gets serviced. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that:

  • Goods shouldn’t be faulty or damaged when you get them, subject to a price reality check of course ie the greater the discount the lower the standard of expectation.
  • Goods should be fit for the purpose they are supplied for, as well as any specific purpose you made known to the retailer before you agreed to buy the goods
  • Any goods supplied must match any description given to you*, or any models or samples shown to you at the time of purchase.

Find out who you’re dealing with

By this, we mean that you should find out if your garage is a manufacturer approved garage or franchised dealer garages. If they are it can work to your advantage. You can escalate your complaint to the car manufacturer and hopefully get it resolved more easily and quickly. However, you should know that you will need proof that the garage didn’t help resolve the issue, to begin with.

Give it some time to work itself out.

You should always give the garage some time to see if they can rectify the issue you have. You should never go to another garage and expect them to fix the problem for free either. If you do this you’ll still have to pay and the original garage isn’t obligated to pay either. We recommend waiting for a while to see if the garage will help you fix the issue/problem.

Just pay for the service

Hear us out when we say this… paying for the service can actually work in your favour. If you aren’t happy with the car service you should always write ‘Paid Under Duress’ on the invoice. That way it acts as evidence. It shows that you weren’t happy with the service you received and that the garage never resolved the issue for you.

Make sure you book your car in for a service. You can be sure that if you book with us, you won’t need to worry about making a complaint. Use our quick and easy online booking tool today!