You can now service your car anywhere and keep the warranty

The Competition Commission wants to put an end to motorists being forced to have their in-warranty cars serviced or repaired only at the manufacturer’s approved service dealerships.

Picture: 123rf.

JOHANNESBURG – Good news for car owners, especially brand new cars, as South Africans now have the right to repair their own vehicles.

The Competition Commission of South Africa wants to put an end to motorists being forced to have their in-warranty cars serviced or repaired only at the manufacturer’s approved service dealerships – and allow for the fitting of non-original parts where a specific part's warranty has expired – without risking the cancellation/voiding of their warranties.

This means you can take your car to be services or repair wherever you want without losing your warranty.

Filum Ho, CEO of Autoboys and the vice-chair of the Right to Repair movement, on Monday said the big news was the fact that consumers now had a choice.

The guidelines were published by the Competition Commission in February this year and are now official - taking effect in July 2021.

Ho said: “It supports competition within the automotive market, which was previously a highly concentrated industry.”

This increases competition in the sector, which means lower prices, but also to create opportunities for emerging providers.

He confirmed that in-warranty vehicles can now be serviced at a place of your choice.

“You can service your car at independent service providers without voiding your warranty. Vehicles within the warranty service are locked in to use the dealership but they can now go to independent providers.”

Ho emphasised that this is in line with what the rest of the world is doing.

“It’s a win for the consumers. Cars that are now written off and have the balance of the service plan - dealerships must either transfer the service plan or refund the balance. In effect when you buy a vehicle, you’re paying for the service plan upfront.”

The commission said in the guidelines that the process was triggered by multiple complaints they received from various independent players in the automotive aftermarket, and members of the public.

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