What is Block Exemption for the Motor Trade? And Does It Affect Me?

You may have heard about The Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (MVBER). But what exactly is it, and what does it mean for the average Oxfordshire car owner?

Here at Just Right Autos in Witney, Oxfordshire, we stay up to date with the latest developments in the motor trade and inform our customers of anything that will affect them. We’ve compiled this short history of MVBER to explain more about the legislation and what it means for you and your vehicle.

What is Block Exemption for the Motor Trade? And Does It Affect Me?

Rules on Servicing and Maintaining Your Vehicle

As an Oxfordshire motorist, you know that regular servicing and maintenance of your vehicle are essential to keep it running smoothly in all weather and road conditions.

You currently enjoy the freedom to choose a local independent garage like ours to keep your car in tip-top condition and carry out any necessary work to the highest standard at a reasonable price. 

However, you may not know that European Union Block Exemption Regulation 461/2010 (more commonly and briefly known as MVBER) was the legislation which initially allowed you to choose where to have your car serviced. 

Following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, these regulations are now part of UK law.

What Was Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (MVBER)?

MVBER was a set of rules governing the motor trade initially imposed by the European Union. When the UK formally left the EU on 31 December 2020, the MVBER stayed part of UK law, set to expire on 31 May 2023, but has been extended by the Government. 

Under MVBER, car owners can take vehicles to any garage for repairs and services. The chosen garage does not have to be in a manufacturer-licensed dealership.

The UK government has replaced MVBER within the UK with the almost identical Competition Act 1998 (Motor Vehicle Agreements Block Exemption) Order 2023 (MVBEO), now in force until 2029. But why is this legislation so important?

The Bad Old Days of Manufacturer Monopoly

In the past, car manufacturers monopolised the service and repair of their vehicles. Simply put, if you owned a car made by a particular manufacturer, you had to take it to one of their dealerships for repairs, maintenance and services. If you had work done on your car at an independent garage, it could invalidate the vehicle’s warranty.

Manufacturer monopoly significantly affected car owners, as the dealerships charged much more for their services than independent garages.

Block Exemption Introduced in 2003

Introduced in 2003, MVBER ended the manufacturer’s monopoly on services and repairs. The MVBER legislation finally allowed car owners to choose an independent garage for repairs and services. Under MVBER, independent garages can work on any car without invalidating the manufacturer’s warranty.

Under MVBER rules, car manufacturers must also make technical information available to independent garages. Therefore, independent garages can access the same diagnostic tools and technical knowledge as dealerships, ensuring they can perform servicing and repairs to the highest standard.

MVBER – Better and More Economical Services for Motorists

MVBER was a game-changer for car owners. Many car owners prefer to use independent garages with a solid local reputation, feeling that these offer better value for money and personalised service and support local businesses and the community.

Customers are also safe knowing that independent garages must use Original Equipment ‘Matching Quality’ parts (genuine or manufacturer-approved parts).

This proviso means that your car is maintained to the manufacturer’s specifications, preventing any issues with quality or warranty that can be caused by using non-genuine and non-approved parts.

MVBER/MVBEO: Good Deal for Motorists

Block exemption has been a positive development in the motor industry, particularly for car owners. The introduction of MVBEO means that UK drivers like you will continue to benefit from the freedom to choose a service provider. 

Always ensure your chosen garage uses genuine or manufacturer-approved parts to maintain your car to the highest standards, and you can keep it on the road for years to come and in the optimum condition for resale.

Choose Just Right Autos in Witney, Oxfordshire

Block Exemption allows you to choose where you take your vehicle for maintenance and repairs. At Just Right Autos in Witney, Oxfordshire, we always use manufacturer-approved parts and work to exemplary standards in line with all industry regulations. 

If you have any queries about Block Exemption or if we can help with anything else regarding your vehicle, give us a call.


The Benefits of Motor Services

The Benefits of Motor Services

Did you know that UK motorists spend over £20 billion every year on motor services and repairs? That’s according to research from The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Car care is essential – there are benefits to motor services. To keep it at peak performance, a vehicle needs a service every 12,000 miles or 12 months – whichever comes soonest.

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