New garage service finder for people leasing electric cars
If you are thinking of making the switch to leasing an electric vehicle, or even if you already have, the Motor Ombudsman has a handy new tool for you.
The Motor Ombudsman is an independent dispute resolution body focussing solely on the automotive sector. It works to regulate the motor industry and ensure that businesses operate within the law with respect to sales, warranties, servicing and repairs. Over 7,500 businesses across the UK are signed up to the Ombudsman's codes of practice, offering consumers added protection and confidence when dealing with the motor industry.
Part of the service is a simple to use Garage Finder that allows you to search for a dealer, service centre or independent garage online.
With an increasing number of people turning to zero emission cars, The Motor Ombudsman has recently introduced a new search facility and dedicated symbol on its Garage Finder to make it easier and quicker to find and identify a local accredited business that is able to service and repair electric vehicles.
The new service has been introduced after the results of a recently commissioned YouGov survey. The study found that 84% of the people asked would not know of a local independent garage or car dealership where they could take an electric car for an annual service. Those living in Northern Ireland, and individuals over the age of 45, would be the least familiar as to where to go, with 94% and 85% respectively. The survey did show that around 20% of male drivers and 17% of those aged between 18 to 24 years would know which local businesses could accommodate this type of car.
(Although being men, those numbers may have to be adjusted slightly to account for the difference between those who actually know and those who just didn't want to admit to not knowing everything…)
There was also some confusion over exactly what was involved in servicing an electric car. At least two thirds of the people surveyed correctly identified that brakes, tyres, suspension, and windscreen wipers would be checked, the same as you would find with any regular service.
Slightly less successful at the survey game were the people who would expect to see an oil change (30%), timing belt checks (29%), spark plugs changed (26%), and emissions tests (26%) during a service. In case you're currently scratching your head and wondering what's wrong with those suggestions - an electric car has none of those things and there's not much point checking the emissions of a zero-emission car.
Regardless of where you stand on the electricity debate, or even if you're still sitting on the fence, it's common sense that in order to increase the uptake of EVs they have to be as simple and straightforward to run as the cars we've been used to for the last 100 years.
That doesn't just apply to charging infrastructure or asking people to change they way they approach longer journeys to allow for charging on route. It has to be just as easy to pop down to the local garage and know they can provide the service you need, whether it's servicing or repairs.
Bill Fennell, Chief Ombudsman and Managing Director at The Motor Ombudsman, said:
"Sales of electric vehicles are fast gathering pace, and they all need to be serviced and maintained in accordance with recommended manufacturer guidelines. Our research showed that there was an inherent need to make it quicker and easier for repairers to make motorists aware that they can service electric vehicles, and for owners to be able to easily find a business where they can take their car in. The new facility on our Garage Finder responds to both of these requirements, and therefore we expect it to be an extremely popular addition."
If you're leasing your electric vehicle this is vital information as any lease deal will require you to properly maintain your car for the duration of the agreement. Knowing where to take your car for an annual service is pretty important. Knowing who is accredited by the Ombudsman is an added bonus. Being able to find the answers to both of those questions in one place is priceless.
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