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Dated: 23 August 2010

Good Garages Seemingly Hard To Come By


Which? have once again proven that there are many garages within the UK that are fundamentally failing in their duty to provide an honest, safe and comprehensive service to motorists.

In a “mysterious shopper” style survey, Which? asked 62 of its members - who owned a car aged between three and six years old - to book a car service from a selection of garages right across the UK. In the lead up to the service, Which? had each car checked for any pre-existing faults that should be highlighted and fixed as part of a car service.

They also made sure that the cars had some easily fixable problems. These included, deflated spare and nearside rear tyres, brake fluid at the minimum level and a blown bulb on the reversing light. Of the 62 garages:

  • 68% didn’t inflate the nearly flat spare tyre.
  • 57% missed the blown reversing light bulb.
  • 48% didn’t spot that the brake fluid was at the minimum level.
  • 21% didn’t notice the low pressure in the nearside rear tyre.

On the back of these shocking results, Which? is now calling for all codes of conduct (of which there a quite a few) to include robust mystery shopping. They would also like to see a recognised, industry-wide qualification introduced for all mechanics.

Peter Vicary-Smith, chief executive of Which?, commented, “This is a worrying snapshot of an industry that desperately needs to clean up its act. Almost all the garages in our investigation failed to fix basic faults. This could have endangered the lives of drivers and other road users and is simply not acceptable.”

To make sure that all the fitting centres and servicing centres within the Blackcircles.com network work to the high standards that we and our customers expect, we regularly audit each garage.

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