Sunday, 10 February 2013

Hunt is on for Britain’s best garages

Car owners to map out safe-haven service centres
  • Motor Codes teams up with car expert, Vicki Butler-Henderson, and Auto Express Driver Power in UK-wide search for the nation’s favourite garages.
  • Based on votes from car owners, Motor Codes to highlight best franchised and independent car service centres.
  • Voting opens Friday 8 February, with garage customers giving their opinion on who they trust to provide quality work, excellent customer service and value for money.
  •  Motor Codes research shows that a majority of car owners would rather trust their car to a garage that guaranteed service standards. As such, all 7,000 + Motor Codes/OFT-approved garages are eligible for your vote.

Motor Codes, the UK-wide OFT-approved garage scheme, has opened voting in its annual Garage of the Year competition, calling on car owners to help in its quest to make it easy for people find reliable, trustworthy garages.

In a drive to map out exactly where British motorists can turn for stress-free car servicing, whatever car they drive, the competition will champion the best franchised main dealers and independent garages across 10 regions, the length and breadth of the nation. 

The competition, designed to consign the age-old cowboy garage stereotype to the dustbin of history, is part of Motor Codes’ online ratings ethos, driven by direct customer feedback. Managing director, Chris Mason, explains:
“Garages today are no different from any other retailer or service provider. The forward-thinking businesses make themselves as transparent as possible. They engage with their customers, value feedback and recognise that online reputation is hugely valuable to people searching for a reputable business. Garage of the Year uses online feedback to create a record of the good guys and, through voting in this competition, motorists are effectively helping fellow car owners know where to turn for a good garage experience.”
Kicking off this year’s campaign, Motor Codes carried out some market research, asking customers about their garage experience and their general car know-how.

“It was illuminating”, Chris adds. “A third of people don’t know where to turn if something goes wrong with a garage* and most people want to use a garage committed to a scheme that guarantees standards. Garage of the Year gives customers of our garages, all of which are RAC-inspected and subject to government-backed service guidelines, the chance to help put this right.

“Emphasising the importance to people of finding a reliable, trustworthy garage, our research also showed that a third of motorists weren’t confident that they could change a wheel, 15% wouldn’t know if their tyres needed inflating and 20% didn’t know how to top up their oil. If you don’t know how, make sure you ask the professionals!”
Helping Motor Codes in its quest to highlight the UK’s favourite garages this year is car expert and television presenter, Vicki Butler-Henderson.
“As well as being fun, the competition also has a serious side for car owners who can rely on the results for the best places to buy or service their car. And with 7,000 government-back garages within the Motor Codes network, there'll be an approved garage very near you.”
Reflecting the importance Motor Codes places on customer feedback, it has also joined forces with Auto Express Driver Power this year, the UK’s biggest car satisfaction survey. Auto Express editor-in-chief, Steve Fowler, joins the competition judging panel, alongside Chris, Vicki and also Tim Milsom, lead motoring officer at Trading Standards.

All people voting in the competition will be entered into a prize draw to win a pair of tickets to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship finale at Brands Hatch, with full hospitality provided by Porsche Cars GB, a chance to pit your wits on track with a Porsche Driving Day, as well as some spending money, with £250 Love2shop vouchers supplied by Unipart Car Care Centres. 

The competition opened for voting on Friday 8th February, through Nationwide voting closes on the 3rd of March, after which the top 50 franchised and independent garages will be shortlisted. Customers of those garages can then continue voting, to help decide the Motor Codes Garage of the Year. 

*Based on a survey of 1,027 UK car owners.


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