IGA News

Be Aware Special - Consumer Supplied Parts

Be Aware Special - Consumer Supplied Parts

30 June 2017

Would you take a steak into a restaurant and expect them to cook it for you?

More and more at meetings and member events, garages are telling us that the number of customers wanting to supply their own parts for a service or repair is increasing. We know that customers will always look to save money where they can and the internet makes it possible for them to search and source parts at the lowest prices. In some cases customers may even wish you to fit secondhand parts they have sourced themselves.

Although the legal position is clear and there is a link at the bottom of this article to a legal “Be Aware” from April this year clarifying this, establishing liability can often be difficult. There is a Facebook “group” with nearly a thousand members discussing this issue and they have carried out a survey of independent garages which revealed that:

  • 69% of garages will never fit customer supplied parts
  • 29% of garages used to fit customer supplied parts but no longer do so
  • 2% of garages routinely fit customer supplied parts

Of course, like most issues this is rarely a black and white decision:

The GOOD

  • You may have a trusted and regular customer who needs to save money
  • You may be certain of the source of the parts and be satisfied of their quality and suitability
  • For an older car, new parts supply may be a problem and a secondhand part may be the only option

The BAD

  • The parts may be incorrect - wasting significant workshop time
  • The customer’s diagnosis my be wrong – the parts will not cure the fault on the vehicle
  • The parts may be of poor quality – depending on the internet source they may even be counterfeit despite carrying a trusted brand name
  • Irrespective of your legal position, you may not be covered by your liability insurance

You may choose to adopt a blanket rule on the subject or treat each enquiry on a case by case basis. Whatever you choose, think carefully about the potential consequences for both you and the customer before agreeing to fit parts supplied by that customer. We are currently writing a consumer focussed blog post on the subject which will be published on the Trust My Garage Blog at www.trustmygarage.wordpress.com.

The legal “Be Aware” article from April 2017 can be found here.