Regulatory changes help motorists save money on car ownership

Good news! Restrictions on servicing and buying vehicle parts have been lifted, which means motorists will soon have more freedom around car service and maintenance service providers, repairs, insurance and finance. With the option to shop around for the best price, you just might save money on car ownership.

As many many South Africans grapple with the harsh economic impact of the Covid pandemic, 2021 is the year to exercise caution, preserve one’s assets and shop around for the most competitive prices. Now that the Competition Commission has approved the Right to Repair guidelines, consumers just might be able to make some savings when it comes to vehicle ownership. 

The new rules come into effect on 1 July 2021. Les McMaster, Vice Chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA) and a director of Right to Repair South Africa, (R2RSA), a Section-21 not-for-profit organisation, unpacks the four main benefits for South African motorists:

OEMs are no longer allowed to bundle service plans or motor plans and other value-added products or ad-ons with the sale of motor vehicles. These need to be offered as separate products showing the cost and saving for the consumer. Your quote should include: 

  • The purchase price of the vehicle
  • The price of service and maintenance plans and other value-added products
  • All information regarding the maintenance and repair of their motor vehicle
  • The average price for each service interval (at the time of sale of the  vehicle)
  • The average price of the parts covered by the maintenance pan and service plan that commonly require replacement. 

This is a big win! Consumers can now choose to use to an independent service provider (ISP) for maintenance or for repair work. Previously, if work was carried out by an ISP or if non-original parts or accessories were used, the warranty would be voided, or the consumer would be penalised. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) may not set minimum retail prices for spare parts and may not limit a consumer’s choice when purchasing  value-added products concurrently, and together with, a new  vehicle from approved dealers. 

“This allows consumers to purchase value-added products from any licensed provider of their choice, including independent/third-party providers,” explains McMaster. 

Consumers can now have the repairs on their vehicles carried out by any service provider of their choice. Basically, this means that the consumer has the freedom to choose where their vehicle is repaired, irrespective of whether it is an insurance claim.

Additionally, if your vehicle is written off by your insurer, your maintenance plan and/or service plan can be transferred to a replacement vehicle. If there is no replacement vehicle, you will have the right to cancel the plan and/or receive a refund on the balance of the product. 

Independent workshops can now access the same technical information, programming tools and training as the OEM approved workshops, as well as access to original spare parts. To ensure that all the work carried out on a vehicle is traceable, independent aftermarket workshops are required to record in-warranty work carried out in the customers’ vehicle service books. 

“All of this is great news for the consumer, increasing competition and allowing easier access to the market by independent service providers. Ultimately more competition always leads to better prices, better quality and better service,” says McMaster.

MotorHappy’s expertise and years of experience in the industry, sourcing the best products and solutions for the South African motorists, makes us your ideal motoring partner. We work with some of South Africa’s top service providers to offer you a selection of service plans, maintenance plans, warranties and comprehensive insurance – all designed specifically to suit your budget and requirements. At MotorHappy, we are dedicated to helping responsible motorists save money while helping to keep South Africa’s roads safe.

Click here to get a quick quote from our expert agents who are ready to help!

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