Action Needed on Vehicle Service and Repair Costs
The peak national motoring organisation, the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), has urged the Federal Government to act decisively to ensure that motorists are guaranteed the right to choose where they have
their vehicle serviced, maintained and repaired.
The AAA has lodged a submission to a review of vehicle servicing and repair being undertaken by the Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council.
"We urge the Australian Government to use the Competition and Consumer Act to ensure that independent service providers are able to access necessary vehicle technical and diagnostic information, on fair terms", said
AAA Executive Director, Andrew McKellar.
"There is clear evidence that the affordability of motor vehicle servicing and repairs has deteriorated markedly in recent years. This problem is being exacerbated as independent service providers and repairers find that vehicle
manufacturers are placing more and more restrictions on the availability of advanced vehicle technical information and equipment. If this is allowed to continue, then consumers will be the losers", he said.
"Over the past ten years average vehicle service and repair costs have more than doubled. However, over the same period, the cumulative increase in overall consumer prices has been just 32 per cent, Mr McKellar said. (See attached chart, over page).
"We know that many new vehicle dealerships rely on strong profitability from vehicle servicing and sales of spare parts to underwrite other elements of their business, said Mr McKellar.
"We have real concerns that with rapid advances in vehicle technology and complexity, the level of competition for vehicle servicing and repair is being restricted, he said.
"It is essential that there is strong competition in the motor vehicle service and repair industry. Motorists must have a choice about where they get their car serviced, or repaired. They deserve value for money", said Mr McKellar.