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What will the Motor Ombudsman’s code of practice review mean for your aftersales service?

What will the Motor Ombudsman’s code of practice review mean for your aftersales service?

20th January, 2020


By Paul Muers


The Motor Ombudsman has announced plans to review its four codes of practice this year. These codes are made in line with the ombudsman’s values of integrity, effectiveness, openness, accountability and professionalism.


The aim of the codes is to create an industry which reflects these values. The codes are made up of the new car code, the vehicle sales code, the vehicle warranty products code and the service and repair code. These codes ‘ensure that businesses are operating to the highest standards and give consumers peace of mind that they are using a business they can rely on.’


What are the codes?


The New Car Code covers new vehicles under manufacturer’s warranty, the terms of the manufacturer’s warranty and spare parts availability.


The Vehicle Sales Code provides reassurance to motorists during the vehicle purchasing process and is applicable to both main dealer and independent car retailers.


The Vehicle Warranty Products Code aims to drive up standards across a wide range of automotive warranty and insurance products, by committing dealership’s to higher standards than required by law.


Most importantly for aftersales teams however, is the Service and Repair Code which commits dealers to an open, transparent and fair method of business, aiming to maintain consistently high standards across the industry. By subscribing to the Code, a dealership is demonstrating its commitment to operate as a responsible business and deliver high levels of customer satisfaction.


What could this mean for the aftersales process?


The current emphasis in the Service and Repair Code on an open and transparent motor industry is expected to continue. The ombudsman is keen to use an open industry to create an environment of accountability for dealerships. The question, however, is how the Motor Ombudsman is going to encourage dealerships to engage with their push for transparency.


A clue might be seen in their own plans to make upgrades to their technology systems. The upgrades are being specifically implemented in order make data more universally available. This emphasis paves the way for an extensive expansion in the use of service technology at dealership level too, with the enhanced use of electronic vehicle health checks just one area to consider. The use of technology to log aftersales work identified and undertaken by dealerships, in particular, creates a clear way of tracking work completed and requirements for upcoming repairs.


Vehicle health checks can also be used in order to raise standards across dealership groups, a practice that is likely to appeal to the Motor Ombudsman’s desire for a transparent and consistent service process. Dealerships can use eVHC data to identify areas where poor work conversion might indicate issues around customer communication or the presentation of information for example.


eVHC accountability


While the industry waits on the latest code of practice to be published, wider use of electronic vehicle health check technology is certain to help dealerships meet the new guidance. It will make it easier for dealerships to show conclusively the work that they have undertaken for customers and how they communicate this in an open and transparent way as part of a professional service experience.


If you’re looking for guidance on making better using of electronic vehicle health checks in your service process get in touch.