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Iceni Magazine | April 9, 2020

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Motorists can trust independent garages with hybrid vehicles

By Motoring Journalist Tim Barnes-Clay – on twitter @carwriteups

Hybrid vehicle drivers have a wider choice of where to take their vehicle for a service after Trust My Garage successfully delivered over 1,000 hybrid vehicle courses to its member base.

It has long been the assumption that hybrid vehicles have to be taken to a main dealer workshop for a service or MOT. In line with the right to choose where they take their vehicle for service and repair, motorists now have a reason to select an independent garage following news that more than 1,000 nationwide independent garages have received hybrid vehicles awareness training from the Independent Garage Association.

Hybrid vehicles are becoming increasingly popular in the UK with the number of registered hybrids on the road rising from just over 14,000 to 25,370 over the last three years.

Britain has the fourth largest hybrid car market in the world after Japan, America and France, with many motorists opting for models like the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight, over more traditional models Much of the routine servicing of a hybrid vehicle is no different from a “normal” car but technicians need to be trained to ensure that they are aware of the particular hazards involved in high voltage systems as well as the methods used to make the vehicle safe so that it can be worked on.

Terry Gibson at nationwide independent garage scheme, Trust My Garage, is keen to dispel the myth that independent garages do not have the same skills as main dealer garages, and give motorists a wider choice of where to take their vehicles.

He said: “As with new cars many motorists falsely believe that their hybrid car can only be serviced by a main dealer but this is not the case. Independent garages have the same access to skills and information as main dealers and the fact that so many of our members are now able to service hybrid vehicles is proof of this”.

“Our Hybrid Vehicle Awarenesss course is certified by the Institute of the Motor Industry which means that technicians have an industry standard QAA qualification to demonstrate that they can safely work on and around hybrid vehicles.”

The news comes hot-on-the-heels of a recent consumer poll from Trust My Garage which found that 67% of UK motorists opt for an independent garage over a main dealer when taking their brand new car for a service. Under European law, Block Exemption Regulations mean that motorists are no longer forced to visit a main dealer garage with their new car but have the right to have their vehicle serviced, maintained and repaired at an independent garage of their choice, without invalidating the warranty.

There are a number of reasons why motorists might choose an independent garage over a main dealer for their vehicle servicing, typically including lower prices, a more personal service and a desire to help support local businesses.

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