LONDON, December 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
IMI, the professional body for the Motor Industry, is calling on all the major political parties to include a mandatory License to Practice for the motor trade in their election manifestoes in 2015. Government does not currently regulate car dealers and garages, but 70% of voters believe they do.
IMI says UK consumers are completely unaware of how vulnerable they are when choosing garage. Whilst they trust the Government is taking care of their safety and their consumer rights service providers don't need any qualifications to operate, nor do they face any external independent checks on their competence to work on private vehicles.
Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI said, "The majority of motorists choose a garage or mechanic without sufficient information to verify their competence to do the job. The proliferation of hybrids and complex driver assist systems has already increased the skills requirements for effective and safe working on modern vehicles.
"All the major players in our sector are in favour of licensing technicians and this year we are going to make it an election issue for the whole industry."
IMI research also shows that 90% of businesses in the sector are in favour of licensing to protect them from being undercut by rogue traders. So IMI is seeking meetings with the leaders of all the main political parties ahead of the General Election to put the case for licensing. It will publish the results of these consultations and advise its 500,000 members and associates in the sector, of appropriate voting choices, accordingly.
IMI say the template for licensing already exists in IMI Accreditation and its Professional Register http://www.imiregister.co.uk , so there is no excuse for the next Government to delay its introduction. IMI calculates there are currently 148,000 mechanics operating in the UK whose skills and current competence they cannot verify.
Note to editors : IMI is the professional association for individuals working in the motor industry, and the authoritative voice of the sector.http://www.theimi.org.uk. Research conducted through Vital Research & Statistics to 2,000 adults with a driving license - September 2014 and by BMG Research** to 600 adults in July 2014.