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Crash repairs under the spotlight on Pat Kenny radio show

Crash repairs and the influence insurers can bring to bear on who carries out the repairs, came under the spotlight on the “Today with Pat Kenny” radio show, which aired on  RTE 1, Thursday,  July 26.

The show’s consumer affairs expert, Tina Leonard told listeners: “In the summer of 2010 new European Commission rules came into force (Block Exemption Regulation 1400/2002), ensuring that consumers have access to choice.”

She added: “They clarify that car manufacturers cannot make your warranty conditional on getting it repaired or serviced within their authorised network or on the use of their own branded parts.

In other words you are free to use your local independent garage for repairs if you choose and this cannot affect any warranty cover you have.”

“The only instance where the dealer can insist on you using their authorised network is if the work is being paid for by the manufacturer i.e. repair carried out under warranty or recall issue.”

Ms Leonard went on to highlight the fact that the goal posts move, when the repairs are being paid for by an insurance company. She explained: “On the face of it you still have a choice. If you read the terms of any motor insurance policy document you will see that when it comes to repairs you can choose one of the insurer’s ‘approved repairers’ or you can choose your own local garage if you prefer.”

“But then you will notice some other terms. It is usual for example, that you will only get a hire car to cover the period of repair if you choose one of the insurer’s ‘approved repairers’. In some cases you will get an additional warranty on the repair but again only if you choose the insurer’s ‘approved repairer’ and in others your excess for the claim may be reduced if you choose from the list of ‘approved repairers’.”

“In addition, if you go with an ‘approved repairer’ the process is usually quicker as there is no need to get a quote from another garage and have it approved by the insurer before repairs can be carried out.”

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