Irish bodyshops call for independent registration

Motor repairers in Ireland have come out in force to show their support for an independent register of their sector.

More than 70 bodyshops have already signed an online petition, ‘Irish Motor Repairers For Registration’, since it went live on Monday on the website petitions24.com.

The petition, submitted by Ross Kavanagh, calls for ‘a system to be put in place that all Independent garages must be inspected for certification and registration to a network of approved repairers, therefore allowing a fairer trading standard for all motor trade businesses.’

The full petition reads:

To whom it may concern,

We, the undersigned, represent a trade which have suffered at the hands of unregulated rogue operators for too long.

In Ireland today, to be legally permitted to trade as an Electrician or Gas Installer, you must first be registered and qualified. If you are not registered and attempt to trade, by law you may be prosecuted.

We believe that any Individual/Company operating a vehicle repair business must join an Independent Register of Vehicle Repairers.

That individual/company must ensure that their/its employees are suitably qualified to carry out any repairs.

Rogue garages/vehicle repair centres are operating throughout Ireland, carrying out unsafe and unsatisfactory repairs & services to highly powered mechanically propelled vehicles every day. These ‘garages’ employ unqualified people to repair vehicles, without the correct training & certification, potentially putting every day road users at risk.

We ask for a system to be put in place that all Independent garages must be inspected for certification and registration to a network of approved repairers, therefore allowing a fairer trading standard for all motor trade businesses.

Every day thousands of motor vehicles travel the roads of Ireland, approximately 40% of which have been serviced or repaired by unqualified people who may have portrayed themselves as fully trained to the general public. This is a grave concern to us as professional repairers as it has allowed our reputation to be soiled due to poor business practices by these incompetent operators.

Rates, business water charges, waste charges etc are all ongoing concerns to us, our pricing systems are structured like all businesses, we must pay our overheads and to do this we must charge a fair price. It becomes difficult to have a fair pricing structure in place though, when rogue operators are providing poor quality repairs and servicing as a cheaper alternative.

As professionals in an ever changing business, with the introduction of Hybrid & Electric vehicles, we have all evolved with modern technologies, yet another cost borne by us so we can safely carry out our business. As a registered vehicle repairer, upskilling & continuous training would be a legal requirement.

To conclude, we ask the Irish Government, the Minister for Transport, the Road Safety Authority and the Society of The Irish Motor Industry to approve and to set in place a fair & undivided registration process for vehicle repairers and to pass into law a motion that all rogue operators who are not registered and can not prove their qualifications as competent motor mechanics, technicians & vehicle body repairers be prosecuted.